Broadway Box-Office Analysis: Two New Shows Make a Splash and Audiences Flock to Revisit Old Times

News   Broadway Box-Office Analysis: Two New Shows Make a Splash and Audiences Flock to Revisit Old Times
 
The fall Broadway season fattened up a bit last week with the addition of two new shows: revivals of the musical pastiche Dames at Sea and the two-hander The Gin Game.

There are now 26 shows on the boards. This did not, however, cause a general rise in the overall Broadway box-office figures, partly owing to the advent of the Yom Kippur holiday in the middle of last week. Most shows lost ground at the box office. Collective collections stood at $20,380,414. The week previous they were at $21,730,049. Attendance, too, was down overall by roughly 10,000 ticket buyers.

Of the two new attractions, The Gin Game fared the best right out of the box, mostly owning to the wattage provided by its two stars, James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson. Houses over the first six previews at the Golden were 98% full — a fine first showing. Box office was 54% of the potential, with tickets going for an average price of $68.40.

Dames at Sea didn’t do too poorly, either. Fully 89% of the seats at the Helen Hayes were filled, and 50% of the possible gross was garnered over five previews.

Of the other newbies on the block, the new revival of Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Friedman Theatre, slipped a bit, playing to 79% capacity and taking in only 36% of the gross. The fresh revival of Harold Pinter’s Old Times, starring Clive Owen and Eve Best, at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre, showed more strength. Houses were at 84% capacity and the box office was 60% of the gross.

The new Deaf West revival of the musical Spring Awakening opened at the Brooks Atkinson last Sunday. The effect of the reviews will not be shown until next week. For now, houses were at 88% capacity and box office was 37% of the possible. The $97,088 slip at the box office was probably due to the amount of press comps handed out last week. The only shows that managed to command full houses were the usual suspects: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon and The Lion King. Top average ticket price went to Mormon ($170.59). Biggest box-office haul was The Lion King’s to own ($1,758,556). Largest gross percentage belonged to Hamilton (117%). And largest leap at the box office was claimed by Old Times ($125,110 more than the previous week).

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