Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Criss Angel and Ticket Sales Mindfreaking

Criss Angel, who has been on something of a media lockdown since negative reports about his Cirque show began trickling out, this week called up Norm Clarke at the Review-Journal to brag about how amazing his ticket sales have been for the show, which officially opens on Halloween.

"I believe we're beating 'Love' and 'O' and every Cirque show, and we're now the No. 1 or No. 1 best-selling show in Vegas," he claims. Reviews don't matter, Angel tells Norm, because audiences are "the ones that made me the No. 1 show on television and made me the No. 1 Cirque show in Vegas."

That's both a surprising AND unconfirmable claim. (Well, the no. 1 show on television claim is just plain ridiculous, actually.) Only Cirque and MGM Mirage know what ticket sales are and how they compare to other productions, and they're not now nor shall they ever tell. I have heard through sources, however, that RSVPs for the media show on Oct. 30 have been lackluster.

But here's the thing: I've been listening to the iTricks Criss Angel Watch Podcast lately. The host, Justin Robert Young, does a weekly show in which he keeps referring to the only public ranking of Vegas show sales I've ever heard of.

Young cites TicketNews.Com, a ticket broker, each week. And according to TicketNews.Com, for the week ending Oct. 19, "Criss Angel Believe" is ranked the fifth best-selling show in Vegas behind Love, O, Bette and Elton John. From what I can tell, in fact, this is the highest ranking the Criss Angel show has attained to date. Take a look:

The list kinda makes me sad because the odd Cirques out here are Mystere and Ka, which are also my favorites.

TicketNews.Com is an interesting resource because it is objective. They just create a listing of the most-bought tickets through their service. Here is how they explain their methodology:

TicketNews Exclusive Rankings and Power Scores are based on ticket sales from the TicketNetwork Exchange™, the world's largest secondary market exchange. A Power Score illustrates a given event's category-specific significance. Two factors are used to calculate a power score: total ticket sales from the given event and total ticket sales within the category. As such, power scores should only be used to compare events within a particular category.

I don't know whether Angel has access to data the rest of us don't. But I don't think that his claims should be published without demanding proof.


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to see Bette is No 1!!! Interesting Cher's nowhere on that list! HAAHAHAH

Don said...

Steve: I'm confused by your last statement. Are you saying you shouldn't publish any comment from an interview unless it has the proof attached? Wouldn't that lead to pretty short articles (thinking of politicians, for sure).
I'm sure that CI is blowing smoke, too. But, hey, smoke and mirrors is his life. Time will tell.

Joe The Computer Programmer said...

Don, i think the issue for steve is that nobody publishes ticket sales figures, but norm doesn't clarify that this is a claim that can't be or hasn't been verified. It also sounds like pure bullshit.