B.O. down; ‘Monty’ $1m

Broadway grosses

NEW YORK — Broadway set a record in Week 6 (July 4-10), though the July 4 session has never been one of the theater’s fave holiday frames. So much for the good news; the B.O. tally still fell $432,704, or 2.69%, from the previous week.

As red-white-and-blue drops go, that’s one of the less scary plummets of recent years. Receipts did manage to top the July 4 week of 2004 by about $400,000, but paid attendance was off about 5,000 from then. Last week, 229,525 tickets were sold.

The overall decline would have been even more dramatic if not for three new entries: “Lennon” ($305,315) put in its first five previews, “Primo” ($148,966) did four and Suzanne Somers in “The Blondein the Thunderbird” ($44,132) saw three.

In at least a couple of cases, the rich got richer. Up $11,778, “Wicked” ($1,302,256) set a house record at the Gershwin. And gaining $20,539, “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($1,010,063) became the first show at the Shubert to join the million-dollar club.

Plays usually retreat over a holiday session, and last week was no exception. Off $11,266, “Doubt” ($527,799) continued to sell out, its B.O. perked by an awesome $71.40 average-price ticket. “Glengarry Glen Ross” ($434,269) and “The Pillowman” ($326,927) took slightly larger five-figure hits, each show playing to about 80% capacity.

The revivals of “Steel Magnolias” ($139,918) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” ($220,212 for seven perfs) each put in its lowest-grossing sesh to date. Over at the Roundabout, “The Constant Wife” ($282,852) marked time, its receipts up $8,420.

The 21 musicals grossed $13,445,201for 86% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 192,809 at 85.6% of capacity.

The 8 plays grossed $2,191,455 for 14% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 36,716 at 70.5% of capacity.

Average paid admission was $69.73 for musicals, $59.69 for plays and $68.13 for all shows.

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