After opening at the end of September with a buzzy U2 residency and a new film commissioned from The Wrestler filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, the Sphere has brought in an eye-watering $314 million, an increase of $154.6 million over last quarter. Sphere Entertainment Corp. and parent company MSG Networks released a statement reporting the figures.
The Sphere reported an operating income of $51.4 million, but also reported an operating loss of $159.7 million. The latter figure had largely to do with the decision by MSG not to move forward with their plan for a London Sphere, along with some depreciation.
“Sphere is a next-generation medium intended to disrupt the traditional venue model,” said Executive Chairman and CEO James L. Dolan. “With positive adjusted operating income at the Sphere segment in our first full quarter of operations in Las Vegas, our early results are beginning to prove that thesis, and we remain confident in the global opportunities ahead.”
U2’s UV Achtung Baby Live residence and Aronofsky’s Postcards from Earth earned the Sphere $30.7 million and $44.5 million, respectively. It marks the first and probably only time indie filmmaker Aronofsky will beat U2 at the box office. The company noted that Aronofsky earned more because his movie screened more frequently than U2 performed, despite Postcards costing less money per ticket and generally bringing in smaller crowds.
The Sphere reported $17.5 million in advertising and suite fees during this quarter, amid news that ads on the building’s exoskeleton will run $1–2 million during the upcoming Super Bowl.
The statement also shed some light on its direct operational expenses, which ran $16.6 million for the second quarter. The company paid $15 million in venue operating expenses and another $1.6 million on sponsorship, signage, suite license fee revenues.