NEW YORK — The transit strike struck Broadway grosses this Christmas, with 28 shows on the Rialto pulling in $15,563,747 for Week 30 (Dec. 19-25).
That’s not a huge drop from last year’s holiday-week tally of $15,929,885, which was depressed by Christmas falling on a Saturday. But the holiday usually unwraps a bigger boost, with the frame raking in more than $19 million in 2003 and more than $21 million in 2002.
When brisk seasonal sales kicked off with a boffo $20 million Thanksgiving week, producers had ample cause for holiday optimism. But the week’s three-day mass-transit shutdown left some potential auds unable or unwilling to pound the pavement to get to Broadway: The week’s 196,980 attendance tally was down about 30,000 from the previous week, and about 90,000 from Christmas 2002 crowds.
Biggest dips were seen at “The Woman in White” ($435,001, down about $275,000 from the previous week), “Mamma Mia!” (falling nearly $250,000 to $768,339), “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” ($639,026) and “Sweet Charity” ($352,126), both dropping more than $150,000.
Even juggernaut “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($977,523) took a hit of $110,472 and fell below $1 million for the first time since July.
Bucking the trend, “The Lion King” ($1,425,782) roared with a big bump of almost $250,000. Fall hit “Jersey Boys” ($895,865) showed staying power, climbing $90,000 to break the August Wilson house record yet again, while top earner “Wicked” ($1,439,603) also rose by about that much.
The 22 musicals grossed $14,044,846 for 90.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 176,772 at 64% capacity.
The six plays grossed $1,518,901 for 9.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 20,208 at 57.2% capacity.
Average paid admission was $79.47 for musicals, $75.16 for plays and $79.01 for all shows.