Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Dec. 1-7: Crowds Fill The Elephant Man and A Delicate Balance But Other Shows Slow Down | Playbill

News Broadway Box-Office Analysis, Dec. 1-7: Crowds Fill The Elephant Man and A Delicate Balance But Other Shows Slow Down Playbill's new weekly feature examines the box-office trends of the past week.


Following the heady box-office numbers of last week’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Broadway settled down a bit this week, taking in a total of $30,147,627, roughly $4 million less than the week prior. Attendance was down about 10,000 to 275,732. The number of shows on the boards remained steady at 36.

The hit revival of The Elephant Man, with Bradley Cooper in the title role, played to capacity house again last week. However, box office was down to 87% of the possible gross, owing to the shows being filled with comped press seats. The production opened on Dec. 7 to good reviews, which should help to keep production’s numbers high throughout the rest of its limited run.

Also opening this week was The Illusionists – Witness The Impossible, a touring magic show featuring several different magicians. It performed before houses that were 84% full, and took in 63% of its possible box office. Again, press seats had an effect on the latter figure.

The starry revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, running at the Golden, rebounded a bit from its showing last week, when houses overall commanded 88% capacity, a drop from the 100% of the preview period. This past week, it played before seats that were 95% occupied. Only two shows besides The Elephant Man packed them in to capacity: The Book of Mormon and The River. (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Cabaret and It’s Only a Play just missed the mark.)

Otherwise, nearly every show experience decreased numbers compared to the robust Thanksgiving week. Aladdin was down $243,115 at the box office; Cinderella descended $310,015; Les Miserables dipped by $221,302; Matilda the Musical brought in $526,344 less than last week; Pippin dropped by $206,079; The Lion King fell by $502,954; The Phantom of the Opera deflated to the tune of $345,696; and Wicked plummeted $617,215. No doubt, many of these shows will bounce back in the weeks preceded Christmas and New Year’s.

Average paid admission last week was $109.34. That’s ten bucks a ticket less than Thanksgiving week.

The new musical Honeymoon in Vegas rose significantly in attendance, jumping from 5,078 ticket holders the week previous to 7,784 last week — more than a 50% increase. That filled the Nederlander to 84% capacity. Monies collected went up as well, but gross remains a paltry 36%.

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