The “difference between bad reviews and great reviews over the course of a season is around $50,000 in revenue for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company,” Woolly Mammoth marketing manager Steven Dawson writes.
One Washington Post critic, Peter Marks, has an outsized impact on ticket sales, Dawson writes: A mediocre Marks review will bring in 2 percent of the total revenue of a show, he found, while a rave will bring in 6 percent of total revenue.
Marks panned one show, “The Totalitarians,” which brought in 0 percent of revenue — 12 tickets, Dawson writes. But a Marks pan of another production, “Stupid Fucking Bird,” was offset by a theater-appropriate deus ex machina:
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Charles Isherwood decided to come from the New York Times and review the play, which had already won multiple awards and had created quite the buzz.