Magnifico’s War Of Words

The collapse of entertainment show “Magnifico” has sparked a war of words between promoter Marcel Avram and show producer André Heller.

They’re blaming each other for the company behind the production having to file for insolvency in Munich July 19, although nothing they’re saying is likely to placate the 30,000-plus ticket-buyers left out of pocket.

Heller, whose earlier shows include the global success “Afrika! Afrika!” has told German media it was Avram’s project and his fault it folded.

Avram, who claims his involvement with “Magnifico” was limited to advising the show’s investors, has rebutted the accusation and says Heller “always puts the blame on others whenever one of his many shows fails.”

He said that earlier in the year, “Magnifico” sold only 57,000 tickets out of 136,000 for what was a well-reviewed debut run in Munich.

“André Heller had a budget of euro 5.5 million for the production of this show but has spent euro 11 million. No wonder that all investors involved then went crazy,” Avram told Pollstar.

He said the weekly running costs of “Magnifico” went up to $900,000, which he claims to be more expensive than any other worldwide show.

“I was only supervising the group of investors for a horse show, not more and not less,” he said. “Obviously, being the investors’ representative and with my marketing tools and promotion experience it was a must for me to help keep this show alive as long as I could.”

Avram also says the insolvent Magnifico GmbH & Co KG has enough assets such as horses, costumes, and production items to cover most of its outstanding debts.

That may well be tested if insolvency experts Pohlmann Hofmann fail to sell the show as a going concern.

The “Magnifico” website has suggested that the respective ticket agencies, “possibly as a gesture of goodwill,” may be prepared to refund ticketholders.

German ticketing giant CTS Eventim, which has sold most of the tickets for the show, says it’s already advanced most of the box office to the insolvent company.

It says the balance will be passed on to the official receiver.