When King Tut rolled into town in October, Bonnie Pitman, the new director of the Dallas Museum of Art, predicted that 1 million visitors would see the show, with ticket buyers traveling from hundreds, even thousands of miles away.
A banner heralded the King Tut exhibit's October arrival, but then an economic wrinkle developed.
"I don't see this as a huge moneymaker," she said at the time. "Our goal is to break even."
But neither Ms. Pitman nor the international promoters of "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" expected the financial crisis that has the global economy in a tailspin.
So how is the boy king doing?
"Like every institution," Ms. Pitman said this past week, "we have been impacted by the economic climate."
The Tut exhibit has drawn more than 270,000 visitors during its first three months, Ms. Pitman said, with 90,000 of those being schoolchildren, who, like other large groups, purchased discounted tickets.
With less than five months to go before the show closes May 17, the DMA would have to draw 730,000 to reach the 1 million mark. That would be an average of 146,000 a month, which exceeds its current average of around 90,000 a month.
It is unclear what the numbers could mean for the DMA financially, because contract terms for the exhibit have been kept confidential. But Ms. Pitman and others remain optimistic about attendance.
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