Photo: The Sphere | By Daniel Kline, MSN | When a director makes a hugely expensive bomb like 2013’s Johnny Depp-led “Lone Ranger,” 2016’s “Monster Trucks,” or 2012’s “John Carter,” you have to wonder if they know they have a flop while making the movie. In the case of “Monster Trucks,” the answer might be “yes,” but most giant failures come from a lack of awareness that maybe people don’t actually want to watch whatever you happen to be spending $200 million on.

Art, of course, isn’t always predictable. A film isn’t a guaranteed hit just because it has a big budget, a big-name cast, or because it’s based on well-known intellectual property (IP).

Failed films, however, come and go in a few weeks. Sure, there might be jokes about epic disasters like “Ishtar,” Waterworld,” or “Battlefield Earth,” but even those are fleeting.

That’s not the case, however, for a project that costs $2.3 billion and counting which sits on the Las Vegas Strip in one of the most-seen locations in the world.

It looks like a spaceship that has landed in the parking lot of the Venetian, and that’s not a bad thing. What just might be a problem is that costs for the venue continue to spiral while it remains a major question whether bands will actually want to play there

The Sphere Sees Costs Rise Again
As costs for the Sphere have steadily increased, former parent company Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) laid off staff and worked to cut expenses. Now, the company has split Sphere off from its former parents and sold other assets in order to pay for ballooning construction costs.

“With the completion of the spin-off of our traditional live entertainment business and the sale of our interest in Tao Group Hospitality, our company has enhanced flexibility to execute its business strategy. As we approach the opening of Sphere in Las Vegas, we remain confident that this next chapter for our company will drive long-term shareholder value,” CEO James Dolan said in Sphere Entertainment’s third-quarter earnings release.

That’s the type of thing you have to say as a CEO, but the same press release also shared the latest negative news about the company’s signature Las Vegas Strip entertainment venue.
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[We stayed at The Venetian — The Sphere was the view out our window. Read more here]

Photo: The Sphere

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