Most shows continue sales slide
A lot of Broadway shows saw sales slide in the week leading up to the Thanksgiving frame — but thanks to “Billy Elliot” and “White Christmas,” the overall cume stayed steady.Box office for those two tuners jumped by more than $200,000 each, with newly minted critical fave “Billy Elliot” ($1,057,069) climbing by upwards of $260,000 to return to the second rung of the top 10 (where it first landed a couple of weeks ago). “Christmas” ($773,037), meanwhile, pulled in a growing chunk of holiday-hungry auds after going from five previews to seven in its opening week. Otherwise, on-the-rise receipts were few and far between, with Roundabout Theater Company’s “Pal Joey” ($298,527) playing six perfs vs. four the prior sesh and bringing in an additional $90,000. “The Lion King” ($968,317) and “In the Heights” ($759,756) also logged solid five-figure gains. Cume hovered at $16.6 million for 31 shows on the boards (or $17 million including estimates for “Young Frankenstein”). The strong-selling revival of “All My Sons” ($602,795) took a $75,000 hit, but it still maintained its lead over the season’s other star-driven revivals, including “Speed-the-Plow” ($522,804), “The Seagull” ($474,205) and “Equus” ($425,169). “Shrek the Musical” ($504,872), again playing seven previews, was off about $45,000 from the previous frame. “Gypsy” ($427,596) experienced the biggest drop of the week, falling more than $150,000 and playing to crowds at less than 50% of capacity. (Drop was exacerbated when star Patti LuPone missed the two Saturday perfs due to to illness, and some theatergoers returned their tickets.) But it wasn’t the only show to play to houses that were less than half full: The same could be said for “13” ($224,956), “The Thirty-Nine Steps” ($154,785) and “Equus.” “American Buffalo” ($202,442) also didn’t hit 50%. Producers decided to shutter the show Sunday, a possibility that had been raised with a provisional closing notice posted late last week. Among the productions showing the most resilience this week were Lincoln Center Theater’s still in-demand revival of “South Pacific” ($907,702), which reported the highest average price paid per ticket ($109.20), and “Jersey Boys,” the tuner whose usually high average price tag was $108.99. Next up: Thanksgiving week — the traditionally boffo frame that many legiters think will be one of the first real indicators of how the turbulence of the global economy will affect the Rialto.
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