Broadway Box-Office Analysis, March 9-15: Spring Season Heats Up With Finding Neverland and Fish in the Dark Keeps Swimming Along

News   Broadway Box-Office Analysis, March 9-15: Spring Season Heats Up With Finding Neverland and Fish in the Dark Keeps Swimming Along Playbill's new weekly feature examines the box-office trends of the past week.

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Constellations, the surprise hit play at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Friedman Theatre, ended its run last week. The show, which starred Ruth Wilson and Jake Gyllenhaal, played to all-but full audiences (99.93%) and took in 86% of its box office, which was up $15,000 in this final week.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson
Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson Photo by Joan Marcus

Fully five shows began previews on Broadway this past week and all did well out of the gate. Finding Neverland, the long-in-coming new musical about the author of “Peter Pan,” based on the movie of the same name, played its first preview at the Lunt-Fontanne last week. That one house was at capacity and then some, and box office was 85% of the possible.

Skylight, the new revival of David Hare’s play starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, was expected to do well, given the attractions of the leading players (particularly Nighy) and the buzz following the production from London. And it made good on its promise. It played to full houses over three previews and drew in 84% of its gross.

The new revival of The King and I, starring Kelli O’Hara and directed by Bartlett Sher, also saw capacity crowds in its first four shows at the Beaumont. More surprising was that the new play Hand to God, at the Booth, and the musical An American in Paris, at the Palace, did close to capacity business while boasting no stars. Opening last week was the new revival of the musical On the Twentieth Century at the American Airlines Theatre. It played to full seats and took in 50% of its potential box offices.

The first-ever Broadway revival of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles continues to do a little better each week it’s on Broadway. The play, which stars “Mad Men”’s Elisabeth Moss in the lead, ran at 74% capacity — a few points above last week’s 70% — but box office was still low at 36% of the gross.

As for the title of most popular straight play, Fish in the Dark and The Audience continue to vie for that title. Neither show had a seat to spare last week, and both boasted an average ticket price in the $140-$143 area.

As you might expect from such an infusion of new blood, overall Broadway box office was up, from $18,260,267 to $22, 954,552. Attendance climbed from 188,591 to 224,793.

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