Biz rises; ‘Purple’ $1m

Broadway Grosses

NEW YORK — There’s a whole lot of jostling for the top spots on the Rialto these days.

Grosses for “Wicked” ($1,346,016) and “The Lion King” ($1,144,193) retained their customary places at the head of the pack for Week 50 (May 8-14), but a B.O. surge at “The Color Purple” ($1,017,442) landed that show at No. 3.

“Jersey Boys” ($993,810), which had occupied the third spot for the past two weeks, was nudged down to No. 4, while “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($975,683), no stranger to the top three, held steady at No. 5.

Meanwhile, “The Drowsy Chaperone” ($633,072) bolted upright, gaining more than $150,000 from the prior week to squeeze into the top 10. Seems the word of mouth campaign, fueled by good reviews and significant recognition in the springtime awards frenzy, is paying off.

Overall, grosses were up more than $700,000 from the previous sesh, logging $19,493,918 for 37 shows on the boards.

“Tarzan” ($618,338) managed to climb by just over $100,000 during its opening week, thanks in part to the fact that the top ticket price went up to $110 after the show’s May 10 bow.

Among other new tuners, “Lestat” ($474,051) fell off a bit, but “The Wedding Singer” ($459,488) was up.

“Shining City” ($220,565) began to climb, thanks to some glowing reviews, and “Well” ($188,071) saw a bump as last-minute auds caught the show before it shuttered Sunday.

Brit hits “The History Boys” ($615,401) and “Faith Healer” ($439,506) continued to do well, while other plays struggled to attract theatergoers, including dramas “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” ($191,893) and “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” ($163,935).

The 24 musicals grossed $14,946,243 for 76.7% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 206,656 at 79.8% capacity.

The 13 plays grossed $4,547,675 for 23.3% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 65,943 at 65.9% capacity.

Average paid admission was $72.32 for musicals, $68.96 for plays and $71.51 for all shows.

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