By Robert Simonson
31 Dec 2013
Nearly every Broadway producer's stocking was full of box-office loot this past Christmas week. Fourteen productions ran to full capacity or more, and a few others came very close.
The lucky 14 included: Betrayal, Annie, Chicago, Kinky Boots, Matilda the Musical, Motown: The Musical, Newsies, Once, Pippin, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, Twelfth Night/Richard III and Wicked. For certain shows, among them Once and Chicago, it was the first time they had filled every seat in months.
Moreover, every single show, save one, saw an uptick at the box-office window. This was not necessarily such an impressive feat, because many Broadway shows had programmed a nine-performance holiday schedule. (The exception was the double bill of Twelfth Night and Richard III, which saw a box-office drop, but that was owing to it having played seven performances during the week instead of eight.)
In such an atmosphere of avid ticket-buyers, shows that usually lag behind did decent business. The musical First Date, never a hot ticket, ran to 77% capacity. And Big Fish, completing its last week on Broadway, played to 89 percent-full houses.
The top average paid admission went, as always, to The Book of Mormon, which netted $245.13 a ducat, but other shows did very well. The average ticket price for The Lion King and Wicked hovered around $185. Kinky Boots and Betrayal took in an average of around $175. And 700 Sundays collected $160 an entrance. Average paid admission across the board was $133.56, more than $20 over last week's number.
Overall, Broadway garnered $38,783,854, which was $11 million more than last week. Attendance, meanwhile, was 290,386, up roughly 45,000 from the previous week. The show count stood firm at 30.