Last night, Fox News host Glenn Beck premiered his new live show based on his book The Christmas Sweater, which was simulcast to hundreds of movie theaters across the country. Sponsor Fathom Events called it a “once in a lifetime event,” during which “Glenn will tell you about the real life events that inspired him to write” the book, play clips from his 2008 national tour, and “share stories of the overwhelming response he received.” Despite heavy promotion on Beck’s radio and TV shows, and in-theater trailers, ticket sales were weak in major cities: Beck sold only 17 tickets in Boston, another 17 in New York, and just 30 in Washington, DC. Raw Story reports that, while sales were better in more conservative areas, even Seattle — which is near Beck’s hometown — couldn’t muster a strong crowd:
While it performed better in the south and in rural, more conservative areas, his ability to draw viewers in major US markets was a bust.
“The theater’s almost empty,” a representative at Regal Cinemas in Manhattan told Raw Story moments before it began.
The viewing in Lynnwood, WA — the closest one to Beck’s Mount Vernon hometown — sold out several hours before the show began. Ten miles south, 70 out of 415 seats had been snagged in Seattle, a better turnout than other cities.
Despite purporting to be a champion of the “little guy,” Beck set tickets prices at $20 — more than double the average ticket price. Blogger Joseph Childers reports that the production value looked “cheap,” and “the bulk of the evening consists solely of Glenn Beck acting out every role in his hokey story, with only his limited repertoire of accents and pantomime filling out the ‘cast’.”