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Broadway sees box office dip

Total sales cume up, but most shows slide

There were plenty of distractions for Broadway theatergoers last week — a midweek Halloween, the New York City marathon and Sunday’s clock change — and all likely contributed to the B.O. dip experienced by most shows on the boards.

Total sales cume, however, was up, thanks to five new shows starting previews — including Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” — and “Young Frankenstein” stepping up its preview sked to eight perfs a week, which raised sales estimates for the show by $200,000 to about $1.6 million.

Estimated weekly tally for “Frank” (which is not publicly releasing its sales figures) isn’t a record — that trophy is still held by “Wicked,” which reported a whopping $1.8 million from an eight-perf week at the end of 2006. Still, $1.6 million makes for a monster tally in a non-holiday week.

Another new big-budget tuner, “The Little Mermaid” ($262,201), started off swimmingly, playing two perfs to 99% capacity. And the return of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” played nine perfs to pull in $465,685, which seems a decent showing given it’s barely November.

Three new play contenders also contributed to the Rialto pot, with “August: Osage County” ($198,575), Lincoln Center Theater’s “Cymbeline” ($97,663 for four perfs) and “The Seafarer” ($91,379 for seven perfs) kicking off previews. A number of shows took hits, particularly “Curtains” ($584,216), down more than $170,000. Also down more than $100,000 were “Legally Blonde” ($637,707), “The Drowsy Chaperone” ($369,051) and “Mary Poppins” ($849,121). “Wicked” ($1,335,757), “Spring Awakening” ($620,110) and “Hairspray” ($669,778) saw high five-figure slides.

Only show to buck the trend was Chazz Palminteri’s solo outing “A Bronx Tale” (up about $57,000 to $315,143)., the sole production on the boards to see a climb of more than $10,000.

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