Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Feb. 23-March 1: Despite the Cold, The Audience Draws a Royal Crowd

News   Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Feb. 23-March 1: Despite the Cold, The Audience Draws a Royal Crowd
Playbill's new weekly feature examines the box-office trends of the past week.


Broadway, very possibly affected by the cold temperatures of last week, took a tumble this past week, collecting nearly $5 million less than last week. There were only 26 shows on the boards, as opposed to 28 last week, which partly explained the drop from $23,193,752 to $18,617,251. But several long-running shows that remained — including Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, Matilda the Musical, Mamma Mia!, Les Miserables, Kinky Boots, Jersey Boys, If/Then and Aladdin — saw a considerable slide from last week’s numbers. Attendance overall was down from 216,711 to 189,652.

Richard McCabe and Helen Mirren
Richard McCabe and Helen Mirren Photo by Joan Marcus

Only a few shows sold out. Those were the two new hits still in previews, Larry David’s Fish in the Dark and the British import The Audience, and Ol’ Dependable, otherwise known as The Book of Mormon. The Audience was one of the few shows last week to see an uptick at the box office. Average ticket price was $145.16 over seven previews. The new production of On the Twentieth Century also saw a slight increase in collections. Still, with seats at 88% full, there was still room for improvement at that attraction.

The revival of Cabaret at Studio 54, saw a decline in its second week with new star Sienna Miller. Houses were 85% full, and the box-office take was 66% of the potential, a drop of nearly $125,000 from the previous week. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a steady performer since it arrived last fall, had its slowest week in a while, performing in front of auditoriums that were 79% filled.

The hit play Constellations, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, showed it had room to grow. MTC added a performance last week, making for a total of nine. Nonetheless, the play continued to play near to capacity, and commanded 81% of the gross of the box office. The new arrival of the week was the first-ever Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein, starring the box-office bait of “Mad Men” star Elisabeth Moss. The first eight previews left up to question exactly how strong a pull she or Wasserstein are. Houses were at 75% capacity but box office was a mere 34% of the gross.

Finally, the serious drama Disgraced ended its run last week. Numbers were slightly up at the Lyceum. 72% of the seats were sold, with attendance up 730, and box-office monies were up by $82,171 to 53% of the gross.

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