B’way momentum slows in B.O. uptick

'Phantom' rises, but other tourist faves dip

Broadway’s box office increases of the past month are beginning to slow down. While the B.O. total continued to inch upward last week — it gained 3% and rose to $10,885,192 — the number included grosses for 23 shows, two more than the previous week.

As usual, “The Lion King,” and “The Producers” continued to sell out, but other shows in the top 10, including tourist faves “42nd Street,” “Aida” and “Beauty and the Beast,” experienced five-figure drops in receipts.

Bucking the trend was “The Phantom of the Opera,” up $28,773 from the previous session to $466,635, mimicking a similar gain from last week. (This time last year it did $678,931.)

“Mamma Mia!” was a big winner this week, particularly after increasing its sked to six performances. It brought in $657,204 of a potential $688,825, filling more than 90% of its seats. The show opens on Thursday and will move up to an eight-perf schedule next week, when it will undoubtedly shake up the current top-five lineup.

Making their debuts this week were “The Women” and “Sexaholic.” Star-studded revival “The Women” took $167,701 for five previews; John Leguizamo’s solo show netted $299,776 for six.

Straight plays in general continued to show resilience: “Hedda Gabler” continued to climb, moving up by 25% to $242,817. “Dance of Death” experienced a small 5% decline to $397,026 in its opening week, which always includes numerous comp tickets. “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” gained another 10% to $397,026.

A pre-Pulitzer “Proof” bowed this time last year, earning $262,454. It took in $342,241 last week, a 2% dip from its previous session.

Last year at this time, there were 26 shows on the boards, taking in $11,926,603.

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