Broadway Box-Office Analysis: May 2-8

Box Office   Broadway Box-Office Analysis: May 2-8 The Tony Awards nominations had an impact on box office, as expected, with the well-nominated reaping the benefits and the less nominated, well, not so much.
Christopher Jackson as George Washington in <i>Hamilton</i>
Christopher Jackson as George Washington in Hamilton Joan Marcus

It was difficult for the box office at the Richard Rodgers to respond much to the Tony Awards nominations, which rewarded the show in residence there, Hamilton, with a record 16 nods on May 6. The hit musical does land business week in and week out, and last week's sold-out performances were secured long ago. As always, the show played to capacity and took in a whopping 137 percent of the gross, leading to a total box office collection of $1,833,473.

Nonetheless, theatregoers who found it hard to gain entry to the small show in the past should find it nigh impossible now, which what tickets there are left fetching even higher prices.

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Christopher Fitzgerald, Kimiko Glenn, and Aisha Jackson in Waitress Joan Marcus

Another musical that is still accessible for the moment, but may not be soon, is Waitress. It received four Tony nominations, included one for Best Musical and one for star Jessie Mueller. The show, as a result, saw a big sales bump, having its best week so far. It raked in $960, 477, a rise of just over $50,000. It sold $289,345 in single tickets the day of the nominations and wrapped over $1.1 million in single tickets since the nominations were announced. That represented 94 percent of the gross. Ticketbuyers should expect those sort of sales to hold at the Atkinson, at least through the Tonys broadcast.

Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Muscial Sensation of 1921, too, did well by the Tonys, taking in ten nominations. The impact was a $216,085 leap at the till, taking the total income for the week to $924,352. That was the biggest bump of the week by far. How the show will fair at the Tonys is unclear, but it has proved a popular attraction so far, and the Tony noms will only fuel that.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which reaped more Tony nominations than any other straight play, saw the benefits as well. It’s monies rose $89,012 to $433,606, bringing the gross to 74 percent of the potential. Eclipsed, which received six nominations, also saw improvement, rising $60,161 at the box office, while the praised The Humans—also netting six nominations—strangely didn’t see much effect, taking in only $19,815 more than the previous week.

Jennifer Simard in <i>Disaster! </i>
Jennifer Simard in Disaster! Jeremy Daniel

Disaster!, the new musical, had a disastrous showing with the Tonys, garnering only a single nomination. As a response, producers threw in the towel and announced a closing day. That announcement apparently had a sanguine effect on box office, as theatregoers rushed to see the soon-exiting attraction, buying $387,184 worth of tickets, a $123,152 spring over the previous week. Sixty-two percent of the seats were filled, a big improvement over the previous 50 percent.

Other shows that didn’t fare to well by the Tonys seemed to take a bit of a nosedive in reaction. The collections at Fiddler on the Roof (three nominations) fell by $100,349. American Psycho (two noms) dipped to the tune of $104,485. And Tuck Everlasting (one nom) slip $57,241. Those and other Tony-poor shows will have to fight for ticketbuyer attention in the weeks to come.

Other long-standing shows suffered from neglect during Tonys-nomination week, with many declining at the box office. As a result, overall box office across Broadway was $27,579,173, down nearly $1 million from the week before.

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