You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway sees lull before holiday

'Plow,' 'Seagull' buck downward trend

Broadway experienced a pre-Thanksgiving lull in Week 25 (Nov. 10-16), with few tourists in town to help boost box office.

Only a handful of shows managed to buck the downward trend — and they were straight plays, which tend to cater to local auds more than out-of-towners.

Two well-reviewed revivals saw the most notable bumps, with “Speed-the-Plow” ($554,039) climbing by $40,000 (and breaking the house record for a straight play at the Barrymore Theater) and “The Seagull” ($529,382) up by more than $20,000.

Otherwise, though, sales mostly slowed. Total receipts fell about $500,000 to $16.6 million for 33 shows on the boards, or $17.2 million including estimates for “Young Frankenstein.”

Fresh off critical raves following its Nov. 13 opening, “Billy Elliot” ($793,077) saw its tally slide in a frame of only seven shows, including press perfs and the heavily comped opening. But few believe “Billy” producers have much cause for concern — it’s said the show’s post-opening wraps topped $1 million in individual ticket sales (although a rep for the musical wouldn’t confirm it).

Biggest drops were seen at the tuners most likely to cater to tourist and family crowds, including “Mary Poppins” ($578,445) and “Grease” ($367,039), both down more than $100,000 each, and “The Lion King” ($896,036), which logged a dip near the higher limit of five figures.

Two newer offerings, “In the Heights” ($695,754) and “13” ($206,742), dropped more than $80,000 each.

The previewing “Shrek the Musical” ($549,005) played its first sesh of seven perfs with auds averaging a bit less than 60% capacity. Middling start suggests ticket buyers may be waiting for reviews to pull out their wallets.

New addition “White Christmas,” on the other hand, brought in $565,269 with five previews, playing to auds at about 86% capacity. With just a seven-week limited run to recoup, the show needs every penny.

Also joining the fall fray is the Roundabout’s revival of “Pal Joey” ($207,099), attracting crowds at 90% of potential.

Box office is expected to be slow again in Week 26 — and then the following frame is Thanksgiving, which legiters see as the real bellwether of the effects of the economic downturn on Rialto grosses.

The 22 musicals grossed $12,769,815 for 76.8% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 159,697 at 72.7% capacity and average paid admission of $79.96.

The 11 plays grossed $3,859,510 for 23.2% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 55,012 at 83.6% capacity and average paid admission of $70.16.

Average paid admission was $77.45 for all shows.

More Legit

  • Tracy Letts

    Stagecraft Podcast: Blackmail Led Tracy Letts to Acting (Listen)

    Broadway experienced a pre-Thanksgiving lull in Week 25 (Nov. 10-16), with few tourists in town to help boost box office. Only a handful of shows managed to buck the downward trend — and they were straight plays, which tend to cater to local auds more than out-of-towners. Two well-reviewed revivals saw the most notable bumps, […]

  • profiles theatre Sexual Harassment

    Sexual Harassment in the Theater: How Chicago Fought Back

    Broadway experienced a pre-Thanksgiving lull in Week 25 (Nov. 10-16), with few tourists in town to help boost box office. Only a handful of shows managed to buck the downward trend — and they were straight plays, which tend to cater to local auds more than out-of-towners. Two well-reviewed revivals saw the most notable bumps, […]

  • The Band's Visit

    Broadway Box Office: Promising Start for 'The Band's Visit'

    Broadway experienced a pre-Thanksgiving lull in Week 25 (Nov. 10-16), with few tourists in town to help boost box office. Only a handful of shows managed to buck the downward trend — and they were straight plays, which tend to cater to local auds more than out-of-towners. Two well-reviewed revivals saw the most notable bumps, […]

  • Judd Apatow

    Judd Apatow on Weinstein Co. at Power of Women Luncheon: 'Shut It Down'

    Broadway experienced a pre-Thanksgiving lull in Week 25 (Nov. 10-16), with few tourists in town to help boost box office. Only a handful of shows managed to buck the downward trend — and they were straight plays, which tend to cater to local auds more than out-of-towners. Two well-reviewed revivals saw the most notable bumps, […]

  • War Paint review

    Broadway Musical 'War Paint' Will Close Earlier Than Expected

    Broadway experienced a pre-Thanksgiving lull in Week 25 (Nov. 10-16), with few tourists in town to help boost box office. Only a handful of shows managed to buck the downward trend — and they were straight plays, which tend to cater to local auds more than out-of-towners. Two well-reviewed revivals saw the most notable bumps, […]

  • Springsteen on Broadway opening

    'Springsteen on Broadway' Opening: Don't Clap Along With The Boss

    Broadway experienced a pre-Thanksgiving lull in Week 25 (Nov. 10-16), with few tourists in town to help boost box office. Only a handful of shows managed to buck the downward trend — and they were straight plays, which tend to cater to local auds more than out-of-towners. Two well-reviewed revivals saw the most notable bumps, […]

  • SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY

    Theater Review: 'Springsteen on Broadway' Is an Intimate, Living Autobiography

    Broadway experienced a pre-Thanksgiving lull in Week 25 (Nov. 10-16), with few tourists in town to help boost box office. Only a handful of shows managed to buck the downward trend — and they were straight plays, which tend to cater to local auds more than out-of-towners. Two well-reviewed revivals saw the most notable bumps, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content