Stop the presses: A straight play was one of the top three earners on Broadway last week.
Of course, that play was Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman topliner “A Steady Rain.” It grossed a whopping $1,167,954 for eight perfs in the production’s first full week on the boards.
Still, it’s a relatively rare feat for a non-musical to crack the top 10, much less the top three. “Rain” muscled “Jersey Boys” ($1,126,009) out of the No. 3 slot, landing behind “Wicked” ($1,441,683) and “Billy Elliot” ($1,342,233). Average ticket price paid for the play was $136 — which means a lot of people paid more than that, with sky-high demand driving sales of premium tickets. (The week’s “Rain” total, obviously, reps a new house record at the Schoenfeld Theater.)
Overall it was a fairly solid week along the Rialto during a time when grosses are usually down in the September dumps. The majority of individual productions saw sales rise over the prior frame, and a slew of previewing shows also contributed new coin to the pot.
Recent addition “Bye Bye Birdie” ($589,285) played to a healthy 97% of capacity while Jude Law starrer “Hamlet” ($575,881), also fairly new to the Rialto, logged solid numbers.
Tracy Letts’ “August: Osage County” follow-up “Superior Donuts” ($187,238 for six perfs) and nonprofit stagings of “The Royal Family” ($148,558) and “After Miss Julie” ($98,091 for five perfs) all, predictably, started off slowly, as plays tend to do (at least the ones not starring Craig and Jackman).
Total Broadway sales climbed $1.1 million to $16.5 million for 24 shows on the boards. That’s half a million less than the $17.1 million gross gross posted last year at this time, and attendance is comparatively way down, from 216,836 last year to 189,160 this year — although in terms of percentage of capacity, it’s almost exactly on par, with this week attracting houses filled to an average of 82% both years.