The hit West End show, War Horse, could surpass the profits made by Spielberg’s film adaptation, possibly as soon as next year.
This is according to Sir Nicholas Hytner, artistic director at the National Theatre, who thinks that the income from the Broadway shows will make the War Horse play more successful and profitable than the big screen version.
Hytner told Sky News: “I’ll stick my neck out and predict the play will be more profitable to us than the movie will be to DreamWorks.”
He added, that even though the theatre has stage rights for the novel, ‘We’re not movie producers so we wouldn’t look for the movie rights, but we do have a stake in the movie because Dreamworks gave us a good deal on material that is specific to the play.’
The popular play is set to reach Melbourne and Toronto next year, as well as Los Angeles and California during its 2012 US tour.
The epic war story, based on Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 novel of the same name, has earned around £10m since its world premier at the National Theatre in 2007. The show has been seen by more than one million people in London and it is estimated to make a further £6.7m.
Spielberg’s tear-jerking adaptation, took in more money from its opening weekend than the National’s annual profit, however, its production costs of £70m dwarfed that of the theatre’s.
While the political biopic, The Iron Lady, took in £1.49m, War Horse brought in more than double this amount at the box office. In addition, it has taken $67.5m in the US. The film has also been rumoured to be an Oscar winner.
Before Hytner starts making any more success claims, he will have to wait and see how profitable the stage shows are next year in the US. We’ll keep you posted.