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Actors rock Broadway biz

Broadway Grosses

NEW YORK — The return of one actor and the departure of another wrought box office turbulence along Broadway in Week 50 (May 5-11), with total sales dipping slightly as drops at some individual shows were largely balanced by bumps at others.

Terrence Howard’s return to “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” ($682,690) brought some heat back to the box office as the show rose more than $175,000, the largest jump of the frame. (Howard, originally set to resume perfs May 23 after a 5½-week leave to promote “Iron Man,” managed to cut his press obligations down enough to allow him to return May 6.)

On the other hand, the departure of “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken from “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($519,454) caused sales for the tuner to plummet by more than $300,000, the steepest slide of the sesh.

Rialto cume fell around $400,000 to about $18.8 million for 36 shows reporting, or $19.6 million including sales estimates of $883,000 for “Young Frankenstein.”

Benefiting from its recent strong reviews, “Boeing-Boeing” ($327,771) boinged up more than $100,000, as did the revival of “Gypsy” ($854,278).

Among the season’s new tuners, “In the Heights” ($526,333) got a little higher, as did “Cry-Baby” ($266,232) and “Passing Strange” ($205,943).

Meanwhile, “Mary Poppins” ($765,618), “The Phantom of the Opera” ($761,251) and “Legally Blonde” ($463,246) were among the shows to experience downturns.

The 27 musicals grossed $15,207,170 ($16,090,170 estimated) for 81.2% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 203,995 at 77.4% capacity and average paid admission of $74.55.

The 10 plays grossed $3,525,351 for 18.8% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 53,188 at 72.7% capacity and average paid admission of $66.09.

Average paid admission was $72.80 for all shows.

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