Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Nov. 24-30: A Delicate Balance is Disrupted While Aladdin and Matilda Draw Crowds

News   Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Nov. 24-30: A Delicate Balance is Disrupted While Aladdin and Matilda Draw Crowds
Playbill's new weekly feature examines the box-office trends of the past week.


The Broadway League was crowing that week 27 of the current Broadway season, which ended Nov. 30, was the highest-grossing and best-attended Thanksgiving week on Broadway in recorded history.

The total gross for this past week was $34,121,642 (an increase of $2.6 million from last season) and total attendance was 284,569 (an increase of 23,513 from last season).

It was also a vast increase over last week’s numbers. Total box office was $34,121,642, a jump of nearly $8 million. Attendance rose more than 20,000 to 284,569. The number of shows on the board over the two-week period was steady at 36 — four more shows at this week last year.

The Illusionists – Witness The Impossible, a touring magic show featuring several different magicians, began previews this week and did quite well for itself. Seven performances at the Marriott Marquis Theatre grossed $1,048,858 — 76% of the possible box-office take — and played to 89% capacity houses. The announcement last week that Sting would join the cast of his own musical The Last Ship beginning Dec. 9 had a sanguine effect on the box office at the Neil Simon. The musical collected in excess of a million dollars. For the time being, though, performances played to houses just under 60% full, and box office stood at 37%.

The Elephant Man, starring Bradley Cooper, continued to slay the box office at the Booth, running before full houses and earning 109% of its potential gross. The River, with Hugh Jackman, at Circle in the Square, did similar business, collecting 104% of its gross and also commanding capacity crowds.

For the second week in a row, the hit comedy It’s Only a Play, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, played to less-than-full houses, marking a change from the production’s early months, when every show was sold out. Still, the Terrence McNally play ran to a not-too-shabby 94% capacity and drew 102% of its possible gross.

The starry revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, running at the Golden, took a slide, dropping $61,539 at the box office, compared to last week, and drawing 706 fewer ticket buyers. Houses overall stood at 88%. During its preview period, the drama had enjoyed sold-out weeks.

The long-running musicals Aladdin and Matilda the Musical returned to strength this week, again playing to filled auditoriums. Cabaret, with its new star Emma Stone, ranked just below them, at 99% capacity.

Honeymoon in Vegas, the new Jason Robert Brown musical in previews, has yet to drum up much interest among theatregoers. Houses were 55% full and box-office gross was a mere 31%. But Cinderella, now in its final weeks, is proving itself a good holiday draw, running before seats that are 94% full.

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