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Cirque officials say heavy marketing could not save 'Iris'

A spokeswoman for Cirque du Soleil said Friday that despite the company's best efforts to market "Iris," "nothing would tilt the needle" toward a successful run.

Cirque du Soleil said it would close "Iris" at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood Jan. 19, after demand for tickets did not meet expectation. The production, which opened in September 2011, had been intended to be an open-ended run. 

GRAPHIC: Cirque du L.A.: 'Iris' at the Kodak Theatre

Renee-Claude Menard, a spokeswoman for Cirque, said in an interview that the company spent $50 million to $55 million to produce the show. She said the costs of renovating the theater, which have been reported to be $40 million, were paid by the owner, CIM Group. 

Cirque declined to provide box-office figures but said that attendance fell below expectations.

"We put a huge effort into marketing and overseas marketing, but nothing would tilt the needle," said Menard, speaking by phone from Montreal. "The L.A. market is not ready for a permanent show."

"Iris" employed almost 70 performers plus 100 to 120 other individuals, including technicians and support staff. 

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