'Assassins' slays auds with biggest hike of the week

Broadway had no problem smashing the previous $15.29 million record for mid-May set two years ago. Last week, 31 productions brought in $16,595,316, up $961,168 or 6.15% from the previous session. Tony nominated or not, all shows were up but two.

The previewing “Sight Unseen” ($202,446) dipped a minor $3,821 due to press comps. It opens tonight.

“Fiddler on the Roof” ($604,576) was the other show to lose ground. Although the revival was off only $9,304, its decline looks ominous in face of everybody else’s upticks at the box office. Although the 88.2% capacity at the huge Minskoff appears healthy, the revival’s average-price ticket of $50.65 does not.

In the musical-revival category, one other Tony-nommed show was up a little: “Wonderful Town” ($413,961) gained $14,601. The third was up a lot: “Assassins” ($441,200) zoomed $105,079, the biggest increase of the week.

Under the top 10, several long-running tuners saw mid-five-figure bumps: “Aida” ($589,460), “Beauty and the Beast” ($547,269), “Phantom of the Opera” ($572,560), “Rent” ($322,245) and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” ($426,498). A little less spectacular in their gains, “Chicago” ($475,791) and “Gypsy” ($466,746) were up $13,797 and $22,284, respectively.

Among the 2003-04 fare, “Avenue Q” ($410,559) continued its climb back to capacity, its receipts up $22,278. Attendance came to 95.3%, with a nice average-price ticket of $67.66.

“Caroline, or Change” ($476,055) went from a 7 to 8 perf sked, putting another $67,464 in its laundry cup. The show performed at 83.7% and charged an average of $67.30 per ticket.

“Little Shop of Horrors” ($328,362) rebounded from the B.O. doldroms, its receipts up $56,624 but capacity still languishing at only 61.9%.

In the Top Ten, “Bombay Dreams” ($798,534) ignored its Tony snub with another $6,600, while “Wicked” ($1,106,282) jumped $25,571 to grab a non-holiday high for itself.

Up $14,236, “A Raisin in the Sun” ($583,255) set another house record at the Royale Theater. Other play revivals also saw their biz improve: “Jumpers” ($363,125), “Sly Fox” ($374,106) and “Twentieth Century” ($306,437).

Cut those numbers in half, and you have the grosses for the new plays: “Golda’s Balcony” ($135,096), “I Am My Own Wife” ($184,075) and “Frozen” ($141,052), which rose $22,562 and performed at 63.7% cap. The exception was “Match” ($273,303), which gained $52,787 but unfortunately proved the rule: It has been a tough season for new plays. The Frank Langella-starrer closed Sunday after a short run.

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