The Tony Awards nominations effect on Broadway box offices did not appear to be a prolonged one, as overall grosses across the current 36 shows sat stagnant during the second week after the nominations were announced. Overall box office fell from $27,579,173 the previous week to $26,269,814. Some of that drop was due to the exit of Disaster!, but otherwise few of the remaining attractions showed a major rise in monies. The only rises were in the four- and five-figure range.
That said, the sell-out or near-sell-out shows of the week were those that have garnered the most Tony nominations, showing that the nods did pack some punch. These included Hamilton, of course, which pulled down a record 16 nominations, but also Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical, the revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night and the new musical Waitress.
Waitress, which is nominated for a Best Musical Tony, played its best week yet at the Atkinson. For the week ending May 15, the musical grossed $981,313, up from $960,477 the prior week. That represented 96 percent of the potential gross. It’s average ticket price was $116.09, the highest such number on the block. Together, it constituted further proof that the new show, which stars audience favorite Jessie Mueller, may have strong legs.
The Humans, the new play that also did well by the Tony noms, showed a little more life at the box office than it had the week previous, bringing in $29,341 more at the till. This led to 93 percent of its seats being filled. This may represent the beginnings of some renewed momentum for the drama, which has done fairly well at the box office since arriving on Broadway earlier this year, but had dipped a bit in recent weeks.
On Your Feet!, which didn’t bring in much in the way of Tony glory, laughed all the to the bank, bringing in $1,016,014, which was $56,566 more than the previous week, and was among the better bumps of the week. Observers think the Gloria Estefan musical may do well with tourists this summer, Tonys or not. The struggling Bright Star, meanwhile, made the most of its Best Musical nomination, taking in $477,058, $60,696 more than the previous week at the Cort.
If the producers of the musical Finding Neverland thought that the announcement of a closing date for the show would bring the ticket buyers flocking to the Lunt-Fontanne, they were disappointed last week. Box office collections were down $52,498, landing at $475,048, which was just 32 percent of the possible gross.
Owing to a student matinee, the box-office champion Hamilton registered a drop of $147,305. Even so, the blockbuster still managed to clock in at 126 percent of the gross, as well as box the highest average ticket price on Broadway ($157.06).
As new cast member Heather Headley joined The Color Purple on May 10 (replacing star Jennifer Hudson), collections were notably lesser, coming in at $604,552. This was more in keeping with what had been the show's normal performance in May. Whether Headley can bring in her own audience will be revealed as the summer tourism months come along.