Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2013

By Robert Simonson
October 8, 2013

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

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The new revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, starring Daniel Craig, unsurprisingly began its Broadway stay in booming fashion. The quick-seller played seven previews at the Barrymore to capacity audiences, taking in a whopping 118% of its box-office potential. The top ticket price already stands at nearly $150, well higher than any other straight play, and higher than any musical save The Book of Mormon. (It helps that the top premium ticket price is $423.) Good reviews or bad, the revival, which has been burning up the box office, should continue to perform just as well throughout its limited run.

Commencing in more quiet fashion was the new Manhattan Theatre Club play The Snow Geese, starring Mary-Louise Parker. It rolled out seven previews before houses that were 81% full at the Friedman Theatre.

Big Fish, the splashy new Andrew Lippa musical directed by Susan Stroman and starring Norbert Leo Butz, opened Oct. 6. The show performed well up until that occasion, running to 95% capacity crowds. What the mixed notices the show received will do to box-office lines will be seen in the weeks to come.

Of the other shows still in previews, A Night With Janis Joplin commanded 84% capacity audiences; the thriller A Time to Kill played to houses that were 67% full; and the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of The Winslow Boy ran to 60%.

Attendance improved at the Sondheim Theatre as the revival of The Trip to Bountiful approached its scheduled closing date of Oct. 9. Bodies in seats increased by 705 over the previous week, resulting in a box-office boost of $106,521. That resulted in houses boasting 87% capacity — the best numbers the production has seen in months.

Having jumped from hosting 26 shows to 28, Broadway overall naturally saw its attendance and box-office numbers rise. Dollars in the collective till jumped roughly $2 million to $21,422,654, and attendee tallies climbed by just short of 20,000 to 215,124. Both those numbers are higher than those clocked last year at this time.