Broadway box office takes a dip

Super Bowl takes its toll

The Super Bowl may have scored with TV viewers, but as usual it took a bite out of Broadway grosses last week.

Couple the Bowl with the annual buy-one, get-one-free-for-your-child marketing initiative of Kids Night on Broadway Jan. 30-31, and you’ve got a recipe for box office dips all along the Rialto.

Only a few shows saw improvements from the prior sesh. The Manhattan Theater Club’s “Translations” ($234,642) was up more than $70,000 over its comp-heavy opening week and, following a frame with no shows, “The Coast of Utopia” ($255,524) played five times, including the first performances of the trilogy’s third part, “Salvage.”

Meanwhile, Rialto stalwart “The Phantom of the Opera” ($537,941) rose around $30,000 and “Hairspray” ($454,235) ticked up a bit.

Other than that, Broadway sales slid across the board.

“Mary Poppins” ($933,744) was down more than $100,000, although it still sold enough to maintain its hold on third place. Disney tuner “The Lion King” ($815,332) also fell around $100,000, due in part to its first-time participation in the Kids Night program.

On the other hand, the oldest Mouse House show, “Beauty and the Beast” ($475,223), got a boost from Kids Night popularity, outselling newer Disney offering (and fellow Kids Night participant) “Tarzan” ($451,322).

“The Color Purple” ($484,340) stayed below the half-million mark, as did “The Producers” ($421,709).

Falling around $40,000, “Spring Awakening” ($447,500) wasn’t exactly booming, but nonetheless seemed to do respectable biz for a musical still working on building its aud. Another critically praised show that’s a tough sell on the Rialto, “Grey Gardens” ($398,960), fell about the same amount as “Spring,” slipping below $400,000.

Landing under the $300,000 mark were, among others, “The Vertical Hour” ($292,009, at 55% of capacity) and “Rent” ($265,983 at 52%). “Vertical” hasn’t proved the box office performer one might have thought it would be with A-lister Julianne Moore toplining, while the long-running “Rent” seems to be particularly chilled by the annual winter dropoff.

Total gross for 27 shows on the boards was $13.9 million, down from $14.5 million the prior week but ahead of the $13.2 million tally from the same week last year.

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