Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Aug. 25-31: It's Only a Play Is Already Selling Out While Hedwig Plays to Bigger Crowds

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02 Sep 2014

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

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Broadway boasted two new attractions this past week, both of them plays. 

The most exciting, in terms of box-office might, is It's Only a Play. The Terrence McNally revival, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, has made news with its $8 million advance, making it already a critic-proof hit. It's no surprise than that its first five previews played to capacity crowds and took in a healthy 112% of its potential box-office take. The average ticket price was $146.81. That's easily the best showing of any play on Broadway. In fact, it's the highest average ticket prices of any show save The Book of Mormon.

The revival of Kaufman and Hart's You Can't Take It With You didn't do as well as that, but it didn't do badly. In its first eight previews, it faced 92% capacity crowds and collected 54% of its possible box office.



This Is Our Youth, the Kenneth Lonergan play enjoying its Broadway debut at the Cort, is still struggling to let people know that it's there. Houses were 76% full, roughly the same as last week, as was the box-office collection of 55%. This show may need to open to solid reviews to break out, despite the presence of movie star Michael Cera.

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, with Audra McDonald, is on hiatus until Sept. 9. During its span of performances last week, it ran to auditoriums that were nearly stuffed, stopping at 99%. The collections plates, meanwhile, were 88% full.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which is breaking in a new star with Andrew Rannells, performed somewhat better this week, playing to 93% capacity, a 5% jump from last week. Box office, however, was slightly down at 81%, and still nowhere near the triple-digit numbers former star Neil Patrick Harris routinely inspired.

Overall numbers were fairly status, with box office at $22,905,606 and attendance at 215,232.