Broadway tills brought good news again this week, with the overall gross topping out at $10,534,195, nearly $1.5 million over the previous week—though the total remained roughly a million off last year's mark at this time. Boosting the take was the addition of the new musical Mamma Mia!, which began previews last week.
Every Broadway show boasted an increase in revenue, illustrating that the industry's recovery from the economic disaster brought on by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is continuing apace. (The lone exceptions were, ironically, The Producers, which dipped by $3,079, and The Lion King, which slid $8,313.) Chicago went from $419,645 to $487,331. Of Cameron Mackintosh's musicals, The Phantom of the Opera inched up from $406,686 to $437,862, while Les Miz saw a slightly lesser increase, from $305,838 to $328,026.
The usual sell-outs, The Lion King and The Producers (the two Broadway shows never really affected by last month's economic fallout), performed strongly. However, they were joined in success last week by a couple of new tuners: Urinetown, doing well at nearly 100 percent capacity, and the ABBA songfest Mamma Mia!, which, though still in previews, had hardly a seat to spare, with an average paid admission of $78.59 (only The Producers did better in that respect).
As for Beauty and the Beast, which until recently had been vying for union concessions, the box office numbers were up more than $106,427, jumping from $436,954 to $543,381—the second strongest leap along the Rialto, behind another Disney show, Aida.
—By Robert Simonson