More shows, more theatergoers, more B.O.
As “The Graduate” and “Topdog/Underdog” entered the preview picture, the number of productions rose to a seasonal 31. Their combined gross was $13,772,045, up $654,655 (4.99%) from the previous week. Attendance came to 229,455, numbers that represented a hefty 12.47% rise from the previous session. As for comparisons to a year ago, B.O. is up 9.89% but attendance is down 1.97%.
Nineteen shows on the boards registered gains from the previous week. Biggest increase was for “42nd Street,” which jumped $90,777 to close with $841,855. Weaned from the city’s Spend Your Regards to Broadway ticket subsidy program, “Les Miserables” and “The Phantom of the Opera” shot up $58,174 and $79,652, respectively, as those final receipts came to $479,387 and $625,132.
End of subsidy
Some of the week’s smaller drops could be attributed to Spend Your Regards, which ended the previous week. Those participating but returning all the money include “Proof,” which dropped the most ($30,753), and “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife,” which dropped the least ($6,671). The two long-running plays grossed $273,294 and $300,175, respectively.
“Bea Arthur” took the big plunge, dropping nearly 50% to take in only $113,661. Its $107,325 plummet was not reflected elsewhere. “Aida” took a $57,682 hit but continued strong with $741,535.
As for those shows opening the week of March 4-10, here’s how they fared: Performing at 90.1% capacity, “Metamorphoses” swam to a $272,268 finish, up $43,389 from the previous week. “The Crucible” did 89.5% capacity, which translated into a gross of $508,763, up $54,457 from the previous week. “The Goat,” at 67.9% capacity, managed $3,624 more to close with $204,235. And as for “One Mo’ Time,” the tuner marked time, up only $954 to finish with $114,683. Which wasn’t good enough. The blues revival posted its closing notice for Sunday. When it shutters, the Vernel Bagneris show will have played 21 regular perfs and 16 previews.
Meanwhile, productions in previews continued to multiply. Nearly half of the week’s uptick came from brand-new entry “The Graduate,” which managed a heady $298,523 for only five performances. Gross potential looms nearby at $313,455.
“Topdog/Underdog,” on the other hand, had a mere $69,617 to show for its first eight previews. It performed at 25.8% capacity, with the average price ticket at $30.45.
‘Smell’ on the scent
Only “Smell of the Kill” charged less, coming in with an average $29.79 ticket for five previews. The killer comedy brought in $81,481.
“Fortune’s Fool” doubled its previews from four to eight last week, its B.O. growing $58,751 for a final $158,256 against a gross potential of $518,606.
“Oklahoma!” looks like Broadway’s next blockbuster. For seven previews, the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical rose $61,550 from the previous session to finish with $765,566 last week.
And “Sweet Smell of Success” had the unusual success of seeing its B.O. improve during its heavily comped opening-night week. For a split session of previews and regular perfs, the new tuner jumped $41,157 to close with $579,968.
As usual, “The Lion King” and “The Producers” sold out, with “Mamma Mia!” at 99.1% capacity. Last week, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick concluded their yearlong run in the Mel Brooks musical, giving the show its all-time high gross of $1,295,511.