It’s Raining Hamiltons from Heaven

hamilton money bundle profit footlightsThe Hollywood Reporter takes a look at what is being done with all those dollars that Broadway’s Hamilton  is raking in.  With weekly grosses of $1.5M in ticket sales, 40% immediately goes to theater rental and other operating costs like salaries.  After royalties are then paid, there is $600,000 a week to pay back the investors until the initial capital outlay of $12.5M is recouped.  This happened back in March.

And now what?

After recoupment, Miranda gets 3 percent of the net profit (on top of his weekly royalty), the Public [the non-profit theater where the show had its Off-Broadway start] gets 5 percent (upped to 6 percent once Hamilton  reaches double its capitalization) and Kail (1.5 percent), Blankenbuehler (0.5 percent) and even Miranda’s father, political consultant Luis Miranda Jr. (1 percent), get a cut.

This is just the beginning.  There will be licensing for tours, cast recordings, publishing, and – going out on a limb here – film rights.

The New York Times  profiled Jeffrey Seller, Hamilton‘s producer, who spoke further of the financial issues and challenges:

Seller told me that when a Broadway show is flopping, a producer reaches a point where there’s not much he can do. “People think you must be very busy trying to save it, but sometimes all you can do is watch it happen. It’s awful.” A runaway hit like Hamilton poses different challenges, like how to advertise it without further agitating people who would like a ticket but have no reasonable expectation of getting one any time soon.

And naturally with this amount of money involved, others want a piece of the pie no matter how small.  For example, last fall, cast members, some who have been with the show from earlier days, requested a percentage of the gross in addition to their contracted salaries.  The original 52-week actor contracts started last July 13th and are winding down, so it’s likely there are some significant renegotiations happening right now.

About Tracey Paleo

Tracey Paleo is Associate Editor at FootLights Magazine. She's also the Founder and Chief Editor of the arts and culture site, Gia On The Move, where she often reviews live performance events.

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