NEW YORK — Look who's sporting a big smile behind his mask on Broadway — none other than the once-mocked Spider-Man.
The Broadway League reported Tuesday that "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" took in a whopping $2,941,790 over nine performances last week, which is the highest single-week gross of any show in Broadway history.
The musical shattered the old record held by "Wicked," which last January recorded the then-highest one-week take on Broadway with a $2,228,235 haul, though over an eight-show week.
"We knew the possibility," said Michael Cohl, one of the lead producers of "Spider-Man" along with Jeremiah "Jere" Harris. "I don't think that Jere or I really thought we'd ever get there but we're ecstatic that we did."
While the eight-versus-nine show disparity gives "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" something of an asterisk, the Spider-Man producers pointed out that head-to-head last week with "Wicked" over nine shows each, their musical handily won. "Wicked" took in $2,712,535 last week.
Both shows' haul reflect the use of premium seating, in which producers charge higher prices for certain days and certain seats. Also, "Wicked," which is performed at the Gershwin Theatre, has about 100 seats less than the 1,930-seat Foxwoods Theatre, home of the superhero musical.
The stunt-heavy Spider-Man show, which at $75 million makes it the costliest ever on Broadway, muscled to the top despite a turbulent history, including injuries to actors, delays in opening night, poor reviews and a record-breaking preview period. Many professional critics predicted its quick death.