Broadway Box-Office Analysis: February 29-March 6

Box Office   Broadway Box-Office Analysis: February 29-March 6
Broadway business was slow but steady, with the new play Eclipsed showing promise and The Crucible getting off to a good start.

Business along Broadway was fairly consistent with the rather lackluster numbers of the week previous. Overall box office stood at $20,679,971, which was a slight improvement over the $20,011,010 of the week before. People were paying an average of $89.70 a ducat, a couple dollars lower than the previous week’s figure.

The Street got a new show in the form of Ivo van Hove’s new revival of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Over six previews at the Walter Kerr, it did decently enough, filling 90 percent of its seats and taking in 68 percent of the gross. The monies collected at the box office amounted to $475,357. The numbers were likely due to the presence in the cast of such name performers as Ben Whishaw and Saoirse Ronan, who was recently up for an Oscar for her work in the film Brooklyn.

Eclipsed, the Danai Gurira drama that stars the Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, opened on March 6 to good reviews. But it did well at the Golden Theatre without them. A healthy 94 percent of its tickets were sold. Critics comps resulted in the gross being just 42 percent of the potential. That number will likely rebound in a couple weeks after all the press have filed through the Golden. At this rate, Eclipsed has the potential to become the top-selling straight play on Broadway.

Hughie, the O’Neill one-act starring Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, announced this week it would close its run early. It had reason to. After collecting decent reviews, it still only played to 63 percent capacity and took in a meager 33 percent of the gross. A couple other shows posted box-office percentage numbers that were lower—Disaster! and Bright Star—but neither of them have opened yet.

Regarding the latter, the names of Bright Star’s creators, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, have not yet translated into sales at the Cort Theatre. The new musical collected only 32 percent of its potential box office and played to 70 percent capacity, suggesting that Broadway ticket-buyers do not yet know that they have a Steve Martin musical in their midst.

In its second week of previews, the new revival of She Loves Me, starring Laura Benanti, performed to 74-percent capacity houses and counted out 44 percent of its potential box office. Its accrued monies rose by $60,273 over the previous week.

The revival of the classic farce Noises Off at the American Airlines Theater joined the ranks of Broadway’s sell-out successes last week, filling 100 percent of its seats. Its companions in that exclusive club were the usual The Book of Mormon and Hamilton.

Finally, Richard Greenberg’s new play Our Mother’s Brief Affair, starring Linda Lavin, played its final week at the Friedman. Box-office monies fell by $11,278 to $167,916, which amounted to 30 percent of the gross.

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