Young Frankenstein Producers Won't Disclose Box-Office Grosses

News   Young Frankenstein Producers Won't Disclose Box-Office Grosses In a break with Broadway tradition, the producers of the new musical Young Frankenstein have decided they will not disclose their weekly box-office grosses and attendance figures, The New York Times reported.

Sutton Foster and Roger Bart in Young Frankenstein.
Sutton Foster and Roger Bart in Young Frankenstein. Photo by Paul Kolnik

The trade paper Variety publishes a weekly chart that indicates the ups and downs of the box office take for all shows on Broadway. The figures are provided by the League of American Theatres and Producers. Playbill.com also publishes the list, which indicates the following: the most recent week's gross, the gross previous to that, any change in that amount, the weekly attendance and its change from the previous week, performance count for the week, seating capacity of the theatre, percent of those seats filled that week, average paid admission and the top ticket price.

No law stipulates public disclosure of these figures, which indicate the health of a private business venture in a very public way. While Jersey Boys, Grease and Wicked producers probably revel in the weekly report of what musical is playing to 100 percent (or more) capacity, the producers of Deuce (which closed its limited run in recent weeks) might have wished the news of 49.55 percent of capacity for that play was buried deeper in the trades.

According to The New York Times, the reporting of grosses is a tradition that started in Variety at least as far back as the Depression.

"This is a private transaction," Young Frankenstein producer Robert F. X. Sillerman, who is producing with the show's writer Mel Brooks, told the Times. "…Consequently, I don't know if there's any — I'm quite sure there's not any — bona fide business reason to do it other than bragging rights."

Young Frankenstein opens Nov. 8 at the Hilton Theatre following previews from Oct. 11. There is speculation in the community that other productions may follow suit and not post their grosses in the future. The League figures do not indicate weekly running costs of the productions, which would more clearly indicate the financial health of a production.

The box office at the Hilton Theatre opens at 10 AM Sept. 10. Young Frankenstein tickets have been available by phone and internet in recent weeks.

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