Mason, Mouse make Broadway B.O. hay

'Edna,' 'Misbegotten' show rise in receipts as they prep to close

Jackie Mason and Disney make quite a combo. Going into its final month of performances, Mason’s “Much Ado About Everything” sold out, as did two of the Big Mouse’s tuners: “The Lion King,” as always, and “Aida,” for the first session ever.

Otherwise, there wasn’t much in the way of fireworks leading up to the Fourth of July on Broadway. The $667,366 drop in total receipts represented a 4.8% decline, which brought the final cume to $13,052,260. Producers can be thankful for the new millennium: One year ago, a whopping 17.8% decline translated into a take of $9,542,931. So much for the good news.

Of the 30 shows now running, only eight improved. Two of those on the upswing — “Dame Edna” and “A Moon for the Misbegotten” — were also outgoing, July 2 being their last perf. The lady from Down Under delivered the biggest kick, jumping $43,283 for a very final $338,447. “Moon” rose $37,658 to beget its farewell cume of $342,088.

Slight rises spotted

Smaller upticks were registered by “Contact” (up $5,504) and “The Lion King” ($7,138). “Beauty and the Beast” went from seven performances the previous session to its regular eight last week, having an additional $40,046 to show for it.

“True West,” with new headliners Josh Brolin and Elias Koteas, went from four to a full eight performances last week, which translated into an additional $32,547. Its box office total came in at $94,119 on a gross potential of $310,148.

The Sept. 3 closing notice for “Jesus Christ Superstar” appears to have put the brakes on its downhill slide. The tuner dropped a mere $1,054 to close at $428,153 on a gross potential of $921,776. Likewise, “Footloose” kept its final losses to a minimum, declining only $9,458 from previous session. The musical closed July 2, going out with $308,442 on a potential of $668,386.

Otherwise, it was a game of who fell farthest. Down $159,837, “Riverdance” went into a bungee-jumping routine last week, with “Cats” falling $147,397. The Andrew Lloyd Webber tuner, which sings its final “Memories” on Sept. 10, continues to perform at a still-enviable 89% cap.

Other plummets included “Annie Get Your Gun” (down $60,625), “The Phantom of the Opera” (down $64,333), “Saturday Night Fever” (down $67,196) and “Swing!” (down $68,102).

“Kiss Me, Kate” registered its first decline since the Tony noms and awards sent its B.O. spiraling upward. In keeping with the other major tuners last week, it tumbled $63,328 for a final $723,526. Box office for “Saturday Night Fever” hit $410,108, which clocks in as its lowest total to date.

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