Broadway Box-Office Analysis: Hollywood Stars Bring in the Big Bucks

News   Broadway Box-Office Analysis: Hollywood Stars Bring in the Big Bucks
Two starry new shows began previews on Broadway last week, and they did what starry shows often do: sell well. Given how the combination of actor Al Pacino and playwright David Mamet did when the two joined forces on Glengarry Glen Ross a few seasons ago, it’s no surprise that their new effort, China Doll, is a sell-out right out of the gate.

The new play ran to capacity crowds over six previews at the Schoenfeld and sold an impressive 112% of the gross. That latter number was the best on the street, besting even Hamilton. The average ticket price for China Doll was a whopping $166.37, the highest number for any play, and trumped only by The Book of Mormon with $170.01. China Doll, it should be noted, has the highest top premium ticket price of any straight play on Broadway: $350.

Misery, the new Stephen King-derived play featuring the Broadway debut of Bruce Willis, also had a not-too-shabby start. It filled 98% of its seats and drew 104% of the gross over four previews at the Broadhurst. Average ticket price was $134.63, the second-highest number on Broadway for a straight play.

The addition of these two box-office champs had a sanguine effect on Broadway's overall box-office. The cumulative number rose from $25,252,464 to $27,391,967. There are now 34 shows on the boards.

A third new show had a more tepid beginning. The experimental new Ivo van Hove staging of A View From the Bridge put in five previews at the Lyceum. Seats were 80% full and the till saw 57% of the gross, to a total draw of $274,654. Dames at Sea opened to mixed reviews last week. It played to 89% capacity audiences and collected 42% of the potential box office, a modest jump in both monies and attendance.

Amazing Grace, meanwhile, put in its final week at the Nederlander, running before 68%-full auditoriums and collecting 43% of the possible gross.

A couple new shows had nice lifts at the box office last week. The new revival of The Gin Game, which opened to great reviews, was up more than $100,000 from the previous week for a total of $446,983. (The show performs seven performances a week, not eight.) Houses were at 80% capacity.

The Gloria Estefan jukebox musical On Your Feet! did even better, rising $192,265 over the previous week to $1,096,202. Houses were at 90% capacity at the Marquis.

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