NEW YORK — It’s not springtime on Broadway just yet, with B.O. for most shows continuing to slide from the Presidents’ Day weekend spike.
Total sales were down more than $3 million to $14.8 million for 32 shows reporting in Week 40 (Feb. 25-March 2). Estimated grosses for “Young Frankenstein,” which slipped to $971,000, bring the cume up to about $15.8 million.
In the good news department, the generally deflated receipts mean that two strong-selling plays, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” ($621,154) and “August: Osage County” ($520,824), managed to secure spots in the top 10, where straight plays are more often crowded out by robust tuner sales.
Lincoln Center Theater’s much-anticipated revival of “South Pacific” ($154,065) played its first two previews, registering a paid attendance of 95% of capacity — about the same as “Jersey Boys” ($1,056,150) but just behind perennially packed “Wicked” ($1,360,610). Another revival, “Sunday in the Park With George” ($419,366) rose by about $70,000, benefiting from the glowing reviews it received a couple of weeks ago.
“Come Back, Little Sheba” ($222,041) was up slightly, registering its highest-grossing frame so far, while “The Farnsworth Invention” ($251,861) climbed about $20,000 in its last week on the boards.
Meanwhile, biz at the well-reviewed new tuner “Passing Strange” climbed by 44% — although that brought the still-floundering musical’s weekly total up to just $118,100.
Most other offerings on the street took a downturn, with the hardest hit being the family-friendly musicals most affected by seasonal tourism trends.
After an unusually strong week, “The Little Mermaid” ($832,619) sank by nearly $300,000, with “Hairspray” ($502,689) and “Legally Blonde” ($493,050) also losing between 25% and 30% of week-to-week biz. “Xanadu” ($162,634) sank below the $200,000 mark.
Judging from prior seasons, shows may have to hold out a few more weeks to feel as if the winter chill has finally lifted. In recent years, it was not until mid-March that the real spring upswing began.
The 23 musicals grossed $11,692,096 ($12,663,096 estimated) for 78.8% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 163,552 at 74% capacity and average paid admission of $71.49.
The 10 plays grossed $3,143,689 for 21.2% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 19,793 at 62.9% capacity and average paid admission of $63.14.
Average paid admission was $69.54 for all shows.