At first glance, that’s what I thought Tyler Cowen was asking.
I assumed he was asking about the characters, not the audience, as watching a play seems like a pretty safe activity (A. Lincoln excepted). Characters in plays die all the time. I wonder what the chance is? Something between 5% and 10%, I’d guess.
I’d guess your chance of dying (as a character) in a movie would be higher. On the other hand, movies have lots of extras who just show up and leave; if you count them maybe the risk isn’t so high. Perhaps the right way to do this is to weight people by screen time?
P.S. The Mezzanine aside, works of art and literature tend to focus on the dramatic moments of lives, so it makes sense that death will be overrepresented.