Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Sept. 8-14: Curious Incident Draws Crowds While Beautiful Recoups

News   Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Sept. 8-14: Curious Incident Draws Crowds While Beautiful Recoups
 
What a different a single autumn week makes.

Last week, 24 shows were running on Broadway. This week, it's 28. Beginning previews this week were Love Letters at the Atkinson, The Country House at the Friedman and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Barrymore. Moreover, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill returned to the Circle in the Square after a short breather.

It was almost as if Lady Day had never left. The Audra McDonald starrer returned in full strength, playing to 96% capacity and taking in 90% of its potential box office. Average ticket price was a very decent $124.44.

Of the three newbies, the London import The Curious Case performed the best. It played to 93% capacity in its first four previews and collected 66% of its possible gross. Donald Margulies' latest, The Country House, commanded houses that were 81% full during its first seven previews. And A.R. Gurney's Love Letters, back on Broadway for the first time in more than two decades, saw seats that were 64% full.

Attendance at the latter will likely be dictated not by the play (which many have seen by now), but by the box-office pull of whomever is starring in the two-hander, which will change casts every month. The first weeks are filled by the impressive duo of Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow.

This Is Our Youth opened to solid reviews on Sept. 11. The reviews, however, haven't yet had an impact on the box office. Last week the Kenneth Lonergan play enjoyed 85% capacity. This week it stood steady at 84%. Next week's numbers will likely show is the notices will have an effect on the play's fortunes. It's Only a Play, with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, continued its triumphant reign on Broadway, where it's been the most popular play since its very first preview. Shows were sold out again last week, and the box office took in 111% of what it could have.

Other full-capacity shows this past week included A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Book of Mormon and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which announced this week that it had recouped its costs.

Due to the new blood, overall box office along Broadway took a mighty leap from $19,843,322 to $22,291,144.

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