B.O. Rises; ‘Wicked’ tops

Broadway Grosses

NEW YORK — Broadway continued its slow climb up from the traditional Labor Day dip at the box office. In Week 17 (Sept. 19-25), the 24 shows took in $12,957,926, a gain of $553,215 from the previous week.

With attendance up almost 14,000 to 196,143, that’s a decent tally for a normally slow time.

Up a blip of $14,282, “Wicked” ($1,263,292) held its top spot, while “The Lion King” ($1,069,224) jumped $55,513 to retake its No. 2 position from “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($1,032,588), which fell a minor $18,121.

Nearly every show saw a five-figure increase this sesh — with the Brooke Shields-toplined “Chicago” ($527,606) up $76,549 — but the biggest gainer was Rosie O’Donnell’s first week in “Fiddler on the Roof” ($486,875), which drove up sales by a whopping $188,718.

Last-chance sales brought boosts to two shows: “All Shook Up” ($359,602) rose $46,659 in its closing week, but over at “Lennon” ($280,872), the final-week bump was just $12,989.

Along with “Spamalot,” only “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” ($423,970, down $22,728) and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” ($343,859, down $33,304) reported drops.

Meanwhile, two new offerings have yet to burn up the box office. “Absurd Person Singular” debuted at $107,270 for five preview performances, and “Latinologues” had a particularly rough bow, taking in just $37,714 for a full week of eight previews.

The 20 musicals grossed $12,028,496 for 92.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 180,879 at 80.2% of capacity.

The four plays grossed $822,160 for 6.3% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 12,820 at 71.1% capacity.

Average paid admission was $66.50 for musicals, $64.13 for plays and $66.07 for all shows.

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