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B’way slides but still up vs. past yrs

Winter slump takes hold of Great White Way

NEW YORK — It could be worse.

Broadway grosses registered a predictable winter slump for the week ending Feb. 5, falling $1,611,871 to $13,234,552 for 25 shows. But that’s still more than the approximately $11.5 mil average the sesh has earned the last three years. (And in 2003, there was a packed slate of 31 shows on the boards.)

Factors hindering grosses last week included Kids’ Night on Broadway, the free-tix-for-kids marketing initiative that counted toward performances Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, and the distraction of the Super Bowl.

None of that, however, seemed to trouble “Jersey Boys” ($884,978), which dropped only about $3,000 from the week before and held steady in fourth place, behind perennial top-threes “Wicked” ($1,303,981), “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($941,612) and “The Lion King” ($897,717).

The only productions that managed to climb from the previous week were “Bridge & Tunnel” ($221,390), up almost $30,000 after its well-reviewed opening, and “The Phantom Of The Opera” ($649,737), inching up about $7,000 and still riding the wave of publicity it generated last month when it became the longest running Broadway show ever.

The struggling “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life” ($184,242) took the biggest tumble of the week, dropping $154,381. “The Woman in White” ($389,287), which recently announced a Feb. 19 closing date, fell by $103,404.

Of the Rialto’s previewing shows, “The Pajama Game” ($401,648) did fairly brisk biz, while “Barefoot in the Park” ($241,942) struggled to attract an aud, playing to just over 50% capacity.

The 20 musicals grossed $11,490,149 for 86.7% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 160,622 for 75.7% capacity.

The five plays grossed $1,762,403 for 13.3% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 25,212 at 72.6% capacity.

Average paid admission was $71.54 for musicals, $69.90 for plays and $71.31 for all shows.

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