Frankie Valli biotuner “Jersey Boys” broke another house record with a weekly gross of $1,173,290, defying the general downward trend of Week 15 (Sept. 4-10).As expected, Broadway took a post-Labor Day hit. But there were a couple of surprises. On the opposite end of the scale from “Jersey Boys” was “The Lion King,” a perennial top performer. Disney tuner saw its roar muffled by an astonishing $375,000, dropping down to $791,994. That’s a great big dive: Last year “Lion King” fell by around $175,000, and still managed to gross almost $1 million. Other than the back-to-school distractions that drained box office across the boards, the cause of “King’s” dip is, for the moment, a mysterious anomaly, although it’s safe to say the tuner’s move in June from the New Amsterdam Theater to the Minskoff probably wasn’t a factor, since the relocation hadn’t affected sales all summer. Overall, the annual Rialto dropoff wasn’t so bad this year, especially when compared with the week’s notable lows at movie theaters. Totals fell by around $2.9 million, a bit more than last year, but still hit $12.1 million for 20 shows on the boards — as opposed to last year’s $10.9 million for 22 productions running. “The Color Purple” ($941,924), “Mamma Mia!” (841,591) and “The Drowsy Chaperone” ($816,005) all held up well. But numbers for “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($765,132, with attendance at 75%) seem lower than expected for a hit not yet two years old, while “Tarzan” ($563,217) saw a sizable $175,000 slide. Some shows really felt the crunch. “The Producers” ($414,998) played to less than 45% capacity, while “Hairspray” ($396,567) and “The Wedding Singer” ($367,085) both brought in about 53% capacity. “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me” ($383,779) had the smallest dip of the week, falling less than $50,000, while “Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway” ($165,771) was the only show other than “Jersey Boys” to rise, as last-minute theatergoers caught the show before it closed Sunday. The 19 musicals grossed $11,465,069 for 94.7% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 125,478 at 61.8% capacity. The one play grossed $644,733 for 5.3% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 8,130 at 88.8% capacity. Average paid admission was $91.37 for musicals, $79.30 for plays and $78.27 for all shows.
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