Broadway Box-Office Analysis: February 22-28

Box Office   Broadway Box-Office Analysis: February 22-28
 
Numbers were down across most of Broadway, but Eclipsed got off to a good start in previews. Do some shows simply need reviews to help sales?
Eclipsed_FirstPreview_HR
The company of Eclipsed Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Overall box office numbers across Broadway dropped last week, despite the addition of two new shows, making the total of attractions on the boards 31.

Collective monies amounted to $20,011,010, a drop of near $4 million from the week previous. Attendance slid from 246,349 to 218,809. All but three shows saw a decrease at the box office, many of those slides in the six-figure range. The biggest bump of the week for a full week of performances belonged to the well-reviewed new play The Humans at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Its number rose $93,736 over the previous week’s showing. Houses were at 92 percent capacity. The new revival of She Loves Me at Studio 54. (She Loves Me technically did better, going up $109,671 at the box office, but that was because it put in eight previews, as opposed to last week’s four.)

One new arrival of the week was Bright Star, the new musical by pop singer Edie Brickell and comedian and playwright Steve Martin. The musical clocked in four previews at the Cort, collecting $206,573. That represented just 44 percent of the gross. Seat were 77 percent filled.

A scene from <i>Bright Star</i>
A scene from Bright Star Joan Marcus

The new Danai Gurira drama Eclipsed, which has transferred from Off-Broadway, did better during its debut week, in which it put in seven previews at the Golden Theatre. Eclipsed stars the Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, which seems to have helped its sales. Houses played at 97 percent capacity. The $400,315 culled at the till represented 56 percent of the potential box office.

In a lean week, only Hamilton and The Book of Mormon played to sold-out houses. The former—which appears to be impervious to the ebb and flow of Broadway ticket-buying tides—collected 131 percent of its possible box office take. The latter commanded 94 percent.

School of Rock continued its feast or famine reputation at the Winter Garden. Whereas the week before last, the Andrew Lloyd Webber show sold out, this past week it played to 80 percent capacity crowds, suffering a $431,427 plummet at the box office. Its weekly take was just 51 percent of the gross; the week previous it was 82 percent.

Other shows still in previews included Disaster!, which sold 54 percent of its tickets; and the two-hander Blackbird, which fill 68 percent of its seats. Blackbird’s performance at the box office has steadily diminished during previews. That trend may turn around after the reviews come out. The show was well-received Off-Broadway a decade ago.

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