By Robert Simonson
25 Mar 2014
Aladdin, the new Disney musical at the New Amsterdam, couldn't do better this week than it had been doing — that is, sell-out houses since beginning previews. So the good reviews the show received upon opening March 20 didn't have much of an immediate impact. Crowds were still at capacity, and the box-office collection was 80% of the potential. In future, however, the latter number will likely go up, as will the average ticket price. The latest return of Les Misérables, which has also been performing well, opened March 23. The previews leading up to that date ran to 97% capacity crowds, and 75% of possible box-office intake.
Three shows were new to the Street. Act One, the James Lapine dramatization of Moss Hart's famous memoir, gave its first four previews. Those shows filled a modest 61% of the seats at the Beaumont. Box-office numbers were only 30% of the potential.
The considerable anticipation surrounding the James Franco production of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men paid off in six previews that faced 96% capacity houses. More impressive still, the Longacre enjoyed box-office numbers that were 97% of what they could be. Could Franco be joining the likes of Denzel Washington, Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman as box-office bait? (Speaking of Washington, A Raisin in the Sun continued this week to play to full houses and fuller box-office tills.)
As for the new-old Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Cabaret at Studio 54, the first three previews illustrated that audiences were hungry to see the 1998 Sam Mendes-Rob Marshall-directed rendition again. The cast played to above-capacity crowds, and box office stood of 69% of the possible take.
With Act One, Of Mice and Men and Cabaret joining the crowd, Broadway had 32 shows altogether. Overall box office was $26,493,581, more than $2 million over last week. Audiences numbers were nearly 20,000 higher.