25 shows improve numbers

Spring arrived a week early on Broadway. The total B.O. of $13,404,530 jumped $1,194,675, or 9.1%, over the previous week, which had also registered a 9% increase.

Twenty-five shows improved, while only three declined. The latter trio included “Jackie Mason” (down $8,663), “James Joyce’s The Dead” (down $17,793) and the previewing “Aida” (down $77,696), which played seven instead of its usual eight performances. The Elton John/Tim Rice musical performed at a royal 96.75% capacity.

In the 100% cap category, the always sold-out “Lion King” was joined by “Beauty and the Beast,” “Rent” and “Riverdance,” which opened last week. The hoofer show grossed $732,205, including two heavily comped previews, against a gross potential of $801,518.

“Annie Get Your Gun,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Contact” flirted with sold-out status. Playing 98.04% capacity, “Annie” registered the week’s biggest gain, rising $117,479 for a final $729,663. “Phantom” did 99.11% cap, up $31,905 for a final $714,757. In previews, “Contact” performed at 98.54% capacity, with its closing $518,411 against a gross potential of $656,080.

The dance show’s $61.63 average priced ticket was one of Broadway’s higher offerings, bested only by “Cabaret” ($69.32), “Fosse” ($63.71), “Kiss Me, Kate” ($68.23) and “The Lion King” ($64.57).

In its first full week of regular perfs, “True West” rose $43,775 to close at $243,063. Gross potential stood at $296,327.

“Squonk,” Broadway’s other newcomer, gained $38,526. Final count: $97,865. G.P.: $285,505.

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