Broadway Box-Office Analysis, April 28-May 4: Tony Nominations Give Gentleman’s Guide a Box-Office Boost, Hedwig Ticket Sales Stay Strong

Playbill's newest weekly feature examines the box-office trends of the past week.


A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, the Broadway show that received the most Tony Award nominations April 29, saw an increase in attendance last week, with dollars collected jumping more than $100,000, and audiences reaching 93% capacity. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which also collected a batch of Tony nominations, remained strong, retaining its perch of over-capacity crowds, and well-over-potential box office.

For shows that did not do well with the Tonys — and decided to announce closing dates because of that — the news was not as good. The Bridges of Madison County, the Jason Robert Brown musical which has been struggling to find an audience, played to 58% full houses and took in only 28% of its potential box office. The Velocity of Autumn played to 78% capacity crowds — actually an improvement over last week, perhaps brought on by the producers' quick post-Tony-nomination announcement that the play would close soon.

The Realistic Jonses, the Will Eno play which was not favored by the Tony nominators, was nonetheless doing fine, playing to 90%-full auditoriums and collecting 84% of its potential box office. Cabaret, another show largely ignored by the Tonys, also had no worries. It was running near capacity at Studio 54.

For many long-running shows, the week's numbers brought bad news, with box office dipping more than a little. This was arguably due to the conclusion of schools' spring breaks and the increased tourism and ticketbuying that accompanies those holidays. Jersey Boys' box-office take was down $100,000 from the previous week; Mamma Mia! and Motown were down $80,000; Newsies dropped $236,000 from the previous week; Once fell by $130,000, Pippin by $144,000; Matilda the Musical saw a tumble of $329,000, while Cinderella dropped by $484,000; The Lion King slid more than $200,000 at the box office, and Wicked plummeted $343,000. (The latter two, nonetheless, were at or near full capacity for the week.)

Overall, box office was down by more than $2 million across Broadway's 37 shows.