Broadway Box-Office Analysis: The Gin Game's a Winner, While The King and I Has Some Open Seats

News   Broadway Box-Office Analysis: The Gin Game's a Winner, While The King and I Has Some Open Seats
The new James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson revival of The Gin Game opened last week to good reviews and that arguably shows in the play’s attendance numbers. The show was nearly sold out, playing to 98% capacity at the Golden. The box-office numbers were just 51% of the gross, but that was likely due in part to the large number of press seats being dolled out last week.

The second most popular straight play on Broadway right now, behind The Gin Game, is the new revival of Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, which ran to 91% capacity audiences. Third place went to the new British play, King Charles III, which put in its first full week of previews at the Music Box. It performed to 87% capacity crowds and collected 55% of the gross.

There’s a lot of competition on The Street now — 31 shows in total — and only the strong and established are selling out: The Lion King, The Book of Mormon and Hamilton, with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Aladdin almost making the cut. Most shows registered a dip at the box office last week. An exception was Therese Raquin, starring Keira Knightley, which rose $80,013, but otherwise wasn’t doing so well: seats were only 67% full and box office was 47% of the potential.

The Lincoln Center Theater revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic The King and I got a new king in Hoon Lee on Sept. 29. The show’s days of posting capacity and near-capacity attendance numbers seem to be in the past. The 82% capacity figure of last week is more typical. Box office collections were 73% of the possible take.

There was news recently that Bob Saget would join the cast of the play Hand to God, which has announced it will close Jan. 3, 2016. Perhaps Saget can kick the comedy out of its long slump. Never a box-office winner, Hand to God has fared even poorer than usual in recent weeks. Last week, it sold just 49% of its seats and pulled in a meager 34% of its gross, the lowest such number on Broadway. Just $214,045 was collected at the box office last week. Only Dames at Sea, at the Hayes, took in less ($203,830). Overall box-office numbers were down, from $25,981,324 to $25,252,464. The season-to-date number was $531,280,946, about $6 million less than last year at this time.

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