Britney Spears’ announcement Friday (Jan. 4) that she would not perform Domination, her new Las Vegas residency at the Park Theater, came as a shock to many looking forward to the pop star’s newest Sin City run. The 31-show run was scheduled to begin Feb. 13; it’s unclear whether the performance will be revived at a later date.
Sources familiar with the show say ticket sales had been slower than other residence shows at the Park Theater, including Lady Gaga’s double residency which started late last month and includes one performance of her pop hits and one focused on jazz and piano music. Cher and Aerosmith also have residencies booked for the 5,200-seat venue this year.
Spears’ widely panned announcement for Domination, also didn’t help matters. She first appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to announce a forthcoming big announcement, making for a segment that was more awkward than anticipation-building. Days later, fans tuned in for a 28-minute so-called “official announcement” that showed Spears turning up late to only wave to fans before walking down several steps to a waiting SUV that quickly drove off, leaving many bewildered by her behavior.
Fans were far more sympathetic Friday (Jan. 4) when the “Toxic” singer announced the cancellation, noting her intent to spend more time with her family, revealing her father suffered a life-threatening colon rupture last year and has been hospitalized since. He is expected to recover.
Sources say the cancellation could cost Spears her guarantee for the show, which could be worth several million dollars. There would also be costs for the venue and its owners MGM Grand, which likely already invested in preproduction for the show. That could easily add up to $2 million to $3 million, according to a source in Las Vegas familiar with residency shows.
There’s also the lost marketing costs, including the strange-but-pricey Las Vegas October announcement and print and online advertisements spent on the show, plus the opportunity cost of having nine event nights in February and March go dark. While it might be difficult to fill those dates in a few weeks, the 22 dates scheduled for May, July and August are likely salvageable. The popular venue is typically booked out several years in advance and sources say the 2018 dates present an interesting opportunity for an artist or show looking to play in Las Vegas.
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