Hamilton (2020)

Sam Posten

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Title: Hamilton ()

Tagline: Join the Revolution

Genre: Music, Drama, History

Plot: The live stage recording of the 2015 Broadway production of Hamilton.


Yassss

Not yet listed but 2021
 

Matt Hough

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This was a surprise. I'm assuming by the time it's released in October of 2021, Hamilton will still be selling out on Broadway, but I guess after the horrendous flop of Cats, the producers might not think that a formal movie version of the material would fly. We'll see. I'd think they might be giving up years and years of road tour money with this filmed stage version, but I suppose they know more about such things than I do.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think nowadays, maybe due to the rising costs of entertainment as wages remain more or less stagnant, maybe due to the sheer amount of content that is now being pumped out, that it seems there’s been a massive shift in what audiences are willing to physically leave the house for and pay money for. And time and again, what we seem to be seeing is that people don’t want to spend their money and time on unknown qualities. And once they’ve had that experience, they want to have it again and again.

For the people who wanted to see Hamilton no matter what, nothing will change their minds. But for those who heard it about it but maybe felt uncertain about whether it was worth hundreds of dollars a ticket on something they didn’t know, this will potentially make it easier for them to commit to the show.

We’re seeing a ton of that with shows on Broadway now... Hamilton is one of the rare originals that broke through, and even then you have to use “original” lightly because it wasn’t an unknown quality as many new things are. It was based on a popular Pulitzer Prize winning book, Miranda was at least Broadway famous, and his White House performances of early versions of the material had been going viral for years.
 
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Jake Lipson

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I really doubt that it's going to prevent the live version from continuing to sell out. The show itself is so well-constructed and such an event that I believe people will still want to see it live too. If anything, the filmed version will serve as an advertisement for the live show.

The release date being next year is probably deliberate. By then, it will have played most major U.S. cities on tour at least once. So I don't think they're leaving too much money on the table at that point.

Plus, Disney paid $75 million for the rights. I think that is the largest acquisition price for any finished movie ever. So the people behind the show are going to be fine on the financial side of things.

That being said, I also don't think this is about the money for Lin-Manuel Miranda anymore. The show has probably recouped many times over at this point. Even if it closed tomorrow and was never heard from again, which won't happen, Miranda would be set for the rest of his life without lifting another finger. I don't know him or anything, but I suspect that this is about more than money for him. There is inherent value in having the movie out there for people to see and learn from. They often will bring in students to see the show as part of their history curriculum; now Hamilton will be available to pretty much every classroom, encouraging more students to invest in both history and theatre than could ever be possible to bring to the live show.
 
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Greg.K

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For the people who wanted to see Hamilton no matter what, nothing will change their minds. But for those who heard it about it but maybe felt uncertain about whether it was worth hundreds of dollars a ticket on something they didn’t know, this will potentially make it easier for them to commit to the show.
Honestly, they could listen to the original cast recording and get a good idea of what the show is like. For free on Spotify. Lots of clips on YouTube, too.

It's definitely still worth seeing live, no matter what cast it is, but I'm really looking forward to this to see the original cast perform it in its entirety and not just a few YouTube clips and the cast recording. And it's great that they took the time to immortalize their performances.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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This was a surprise. I'm assuming by the time it's released in October of 2021, Hamilton will still be selling out on Broadway, but I guess after the horrendous flop of Cats, the producers might not think that a formal movie version of the material would fly.
I think we'll eventually get a full movie adaptation of Hamilton. Why are they just dumping the filmed stage show into theaters? Because they know they can, and it will still make bank.
 
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Lord Dalek

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but I guess after the horrendous flop of Cats, the producers might not think that a formal movie version of the material would fly.
I wouldn't call Cats a "formal movie version". I also wouldn't call Cats a good musical in general but that's beside the point.
 

Greg.K

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I think we'll eventually get a full movie adaptation of Hamilton. Why are they just dumping the filmed stage show into theaters? Because they know they can, and it will still make bank.
I think it’s better this way, tbh. The rap & minority casting for the white guy founding fathers works much better abstracted on a stage. A version with realistic period sets and a bunch of extras would be weird.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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Honestly, they could listen to the original cast recording and get a good idea of what the show is like. For free on Spotify. Lots of clips on YouTube, too.

It's definitely still worth seeing live, no matter what cast it is, but I'm really looking forward to this to see the original cast perform it in its entirety and not just a few YouTube clips and the cast recording. And it's great that they took the time to immortalize their performances.
I’m reasonably sure that my wife saw one of the performances that were filmed, so she gets the extra bonus of having the show she saw immortalized. I saw it at the Public before it transferred to Broadway but not since; the face value ticket prices now are just much more than I want to pay but I’ll be happy to revisit this taped version.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Hamilton is a unique and specifically theatrical construct, and I think it would be extremely challenging to translate that to a Hollywood film. It currently exists in the medium for which its concept is the best fit, and I think preserving that in full as a live capture is probably better for the integrity of the piece than trying to make an adaptation for film. This isn't to say that they will never try it, but the fact that this version is receiving a wide theatrical release as if it is a normal film, rather than a one-off event screening as Fathom sometimes does, makes the hypothetical future existence of a Hollywood version less likely. And I am perfectly happy with that.

I'm just glad that they had the foresight and understanding to recognize when it was happening what a significant moment in cultural history Hamilton is and that they made a point of preserving it with the original cast. That's very rare and should be commended.
 
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Matt Hough

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The release date being next year is probably deliberate. By then, it will have played most major U.S. cities on tour at least once. So I don't think they're leaving too much money on the table at that point.
Do you how many people haven't been able to get tickets for the first run tour of Hamilton in cities around the US? Even with two, three, or four week stops, the waiting list for tickets is HUGE. Plus, shows like Hamilton, Wicked, The Lion King, The Book of Mormon return every two to three years because the demand for tickets from repeat patrons is so high, and that kind of frenzy spills over into the casual theatergoer, too.

THAT is at least SOME of the money that the movie presentation will take away from local theater subscription services that would book it. Yes, many people will still want to see it live; there is nothing like live theater, but this will make the scarcity of tickets for the average patrons much less of a problem since now they won't have to fight so hard to get a seat to see this show.
 

Jake Lipson

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Do you how many people haven't been able to get tickets for the first run tour of Hamilton in cities around the US?
Yes, of course. And the show will continue to tour for the next several years regardless of the presence of the film version, so hopefully as it continues to do that, more people will be able to get in to see it live. They'll still be selling out every seat in every theatre they go to for years to come.

But the purpose of releasing the film now is specifically to make it easier for people to see it. That is what Lin-Manuel Miranda wants the film version to do. But I think for the people who can afford the live tickets, they'll still go to it if they can get in when the tour returns to their market even if they've seen the film.

For people who can't afford the live tickets, the film removes the barrier between them and the show. But the people for whom the price is a barrier wouldn't be able to see the show regardless, so the presence of the movie won't hurt the live box office in that regard.
 
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David Weicker

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This won’t take money away from the live shows. People will still support live theater. This will follow Miranda’s request that everyone be allowed to see it.

This is for the millions who can’t spend $450 on a single ticket (or $150 for a mile-away seat). Got a family of four, well here’s next month’s mortgage for two-and-half hours
 
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Josh Steinberg

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$450 would be relatively cheap for this. The show had face value tickets as high as $850 a couple years ago; I shudder to think that those have climbed to today.

I wanted to surprise my wife with another viewing since it’s her favorite show ever, but I simply could not bring myself to pull the ticket on two seats in the very last row which were $200 each plus another $100 in fees and surcharges.
 
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Jake Lipson

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I wanted to surprise my wife with another viewing since it’s her favorite show ever, but I simply could not bring myself to pull the ticket on two seats in the very last row which were $200 each plus another $100 in fees and surcharges.
Enter the ticket lottery. It's a long shot, but they raffle off several tickets to every show for $10 each, and you can enter it online with their app, so you don't have to actually go to the theatre unless you win. Maybe at some point it will be your lucky day.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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Enter the ticket lottery. It's a long shot, but they raffle off several tickets to every show for $10 each, and you can enter it online with their app, so you don't have to actually go to the theatre unless you win. Maybe at some point it will be your lucky day.
She plays the lottery every single day and I’m pretty sure if you check our email, I do too :D. Our office is actually around the corner from the theater so she would go and enter in person back when they used to do it that way. At this point we’re resigned to the lottery being our most likely way of seeing the show again. Whether that’s the ticket lottery, or just winning the lottery lottery so that we’re rich people who can afford to buy tickets, I’m good either way.
 

mattCR

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This is very different from translations like Cats, The Producers, Les Mis, etc. This is just a filming of it as it was performed in the theater. So this is something I don't know if we've seen before quite like this on the big screen. I think that alone makes it exciting and unique and more intimate for a theater experience. I've seen Hamilton in the theater in New York and Chicago, with most of the original cast (I missed LMM) but I'm eager to see it with the full, original cast. This is a fantastic event and I'm stoked!

I don't think this would be eligible for any oscars (or would it?) But who cares.
 
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