Biz Reacts To War, 11 Slip; ‘Pan,’ ‘Shogun,’ ‘B& B’ End

Business on Broadway continued its icy slump during week 33 (Jan. 14 to 20), with legit venues losing out to CNN and other reports from the Persian Gulf.

While dismal attendance closed two shows during the week (a third, “Peter Pan,” flew out of town after completing its limited run), interest in the closers kept total figures from dropping below the previous week’s take. Receipts for week 33 were $4,936,202, a negligible 0.5% higher than week 32. Attendance was up 0.6% to 134,119.

Included in the 20 shows was one preview of “Mule Bone,” the new Langston Hughes-Zora Neale Hurston comedy at the Ethel Barrymore Theater.

In all, 11 shows dropped in boxoffice from the previous week, while eight improved. Of the jumpers, five either played their final weeks or had posted closings.

“Peter Pan” closed with a virtual sellout week, netting $426,694. The last-minute closing notice of “Shogun” didn’t help b.o., with the musical selling at a depressing 45.7% of capacity. “Black And Blue,” which had posted a provisional closing notice, couldn’t withstand the deadly slump and shut its doors with a small $173,156.

“Piano Lesson” and “A Few Good Men,” both skedded to close before February, saw noticable increases. “Prelude To A Kiss” and “Shadowlands” also had receipts boosts.

“Six Degrees Of Separation” came in just a degree or two below sellout. “The Phantom Of The Opera” was SRO.

“Aspects Of Love” played to half-empty houses. “Buddy” managed only slightly higher seat-occupancy. Even strongholds such as “Cats,” “City Of Angels,” “Jackie Mason: Brand New” and “Grand Hotel” did considerably less business than usual.

Receipts for the musicals totaled $4,000,391, or 81% of the total take. Attendance stood at 100,163, or a moody 71.3% of musical capacity. Plays accounted for the remaining 19% of the total revenue, or $935,811. Play attendance was 33,956, or 73.2% of play capacity. The average price per ticket was $36.80 for all shows, $39.93 for musicals and $27.55 for plays.

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