In my opinion, word of mouth and internet hype is a large part of what makes or breaks a show nowadays (yes, even a Disney show). Do you remember when bad word of mouth basically killed Spider-man before it started previews? The New York Times rave can never hurt for native New Yorkers but word of mouth is a driving force in a shows success. I know you think you can rely on your brand alone for success but as you’ve experience before with Tarzan and The Little Mermaid this isn’t always the case. (Though I hear your latest is much better than those.)
This brings me to Aladdin. I hear it’s pretty great but I’m not sure how I’m, and people with a budget like me, are going to get to see it. I’ve been hearing horror stories of people getting to the rush line at 4:30am and still not getting tickets six hours later. This, in short, is ridiculous. The parents and once-a-year show-goer is not who’s going to spread the word of Aladdin’s potential greatness. It’s the person who’s willing to wait for a few hours on a weekend morning for a rush ticket that will blog and tweet about their experience during and after the show. I also recognize that the people who can pay $40 for a ticket aren’t going to keep your show alive financially, but they can most certainly keep the excitement about your show alive and encourage those who can afford a $150 to go drop the cash.
In short: I hope you start designating seats for rush or, better yet, a lottery. Because even though you’re Disney, your shows still need publicity from the little people.
Edit: Ask and you shall receive: