Broadway Box Office Analysis: Is Mamet and Pacino's China Doll Critic Proof?

News   Broadway Box Office Analysis: Is Mamet and Pacino's China Doll Critic Proof?
Thanksgiving week is hard to beat, box-office-wise. Accordingly, numbers across Broadway dropped this past week from the holiday's robust figures. Overall gross across the board was $29,634,670, down from $33,851,352. Attendance was 276,963, a fall from 288,018. The number of shows on the Street stood at 37, one less than the previous week.

Following an extended preview period, David Mamet’s new play China Doll opened at the Schoenfeld. The Al Pacino starrer has been a good seller since its debut on Broadway, despite negative publicity. This past week was no exception. Houses were at 97 percent capacity, and the gross was at 100 percent. The latter number is weaker than usual owing to the number of critic seats handed out last week. Though reviews were not rosy, expect the figure to bounce higher next week nevertheless.

School of Rock, the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on the film comedy of the same name, also opened last week, at the Winter Garden. The show has performed decently since it began previous a month ago, though it has failed to sell out. Seats were 88 percent full this past week, with box office take only 46 percent of the possible, what with all the comps being dolled out. Reviews came out Dec. 7. Their effect will be seen in next week’s numbers.

The in-previews club had two members this past week: Fiddler on the Roof and The Color Purple. The new revival of Fiddler stumbling, its box office collection falling to the tune of $159,221, resulting in a respectable overall take of $1,062,494. Performance played to houses 87 percent full and the gross was 68 percent of the potential.

The Color Purple boasted similar numbers. Auditoriums were 87 percent occupied and the box-office was 72 percent of the possible. However, the box-office total rose slightly over the previous week by $2,533.

The biggest jump at the box office belonged to Misery, the thriller starring Bruce Willis. Monies rose $115,916 over the previous seven-day period. Still, houses were only at 72 percent capacity. Among the short-termers now on Broadway, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is having a hard time attracting ticket buyers at the Lyric. Box office monies totaled a mere $247,621. That represents just 16 percent of the gross. Only 30 percent of the seats were occupied. The Illusionists did much better, collecting 53 percent of the possible box office with a $657,334 take.

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