Broadway Box Office Analysis: It's A Great Time To Be A Musical

News   Broadway Box Office Analysis: It's A Great Time To Be A Musical
 
Multiple musicals saw jumps in revenue, while straight plays were down last week on Broadway.

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The new staging of the farce Noises Off got underway this past week at the American Airlines Theatre, putting in five previews that played to houses 82 percent full and pulled in 51 percent of the gross. The box office take was $206,490. The addition of the comedy places a total of 37 shows on the Broadway boards.

On the whole this past week, musicals — particularly veteran shows — enjoyed a healthy boost at the box office, while many straight plays experienced a drop in business.

The Lion King pulled in a cool $2,152,296 at the box office, a rise of $143,310 from the previous week. Wicked, another long-runner, also raked in the cash, collecting $170,928 more than the week prior to reach a total weekly take of $1,903,218. Both shows were at near capacity.

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The Color Purple, which was recently well-reviewed, also nearly filled its houses. The box-office climbed $158,686 to $854,716 to take in 82 percent of box office potential. As the week included second night press performances and a large number of press comps, the numbers next week should look even better. China Doll appears to feeling the effect of the David Mamet play’s poor reviews. The box office monies fell by $100,406 to $822,530, representing only 80 precent of the gross. Houses were at 73 percent capacity, a great fall from the pre-opening days when performances were nearly sold out. Another show with a big star, Misery, suffered a similar dive, slipping $105,992 down to $642,120. Shows played to 59 percent capacity.

Al Pacino in <i>China Doll</i>
Al Pacino in China Doll Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Other plays to see a drop in traffic included The Gin Game, Sylvia, King Charles III and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

An American in Paris, too, took a sizable tumble at the box office, to the tune of $209,702. Box office was only 72 percent of the possible and seats were only 66 precent filled.

Despite the addition of a new show to the mix, overall box office was much the same as the previous week: $29,484,797 as opposed to last week’s slightly better $29,866,859. Attendance was 276,704.

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