Shows report robust week at box office
It’s not often a non-musical posts a weekly sales tally that surpasses $1 million — but “God of Carnage” did it last week, the final frame before the hit play temporarily went dark until early September.But so many shows reported such robust sales last week that “God” ($1,000,098) just missed being in the top 10. Also stepping up into the sesh’s 11-member millionaires’ club were, among others, “Shrek the Musical” ($1,016,309) and “The Little Mermaid” ($1,090,033), the latter benefiting from booming last-minute biz from auds wanting to catch the tuner before it shutters Aug. 30. “God of Carnage” tally also is likely to have been prodded upward by theatergoers hoping to see the Tony-winning play before its hiatus, although the production’s entire starry cast — James Gandolfini, Hope Davis, Jeff Daniels and Marcia Gay Harden (who picked a Tony for her perf) — will return when the show re-opens Sept. 8. Unusual “vacation” sked allows “God” thesps to take a break (that nearly coincides with the end of their original contracts) and then return in the fall, when the show is expected to continue to be a strong performer. Long-running crowd pleasers “Mamma Mia!” ($1,076,030) and “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,014,455) also drew summer-tourist auds, as did the usual suspects from this season — including “Billy Elliot” ($1,419,708) and “West Side Story” ($1,333,851) — and from prior years. Biggest jump of the week was logged by “Mary Poppins” ($982,277), up by more than $100,000, while in terms of percentage gains, “The 39 Steps” ($242,943) also saw a hefty bump in ticket sales. On the other hand, “9 to 5,” up a bit to $694,650, didn’t climb by much. The rises seen at “Rock of Ages” ($682,218) and “Next to Normal” ($453,285) also were more modest. Still, overall Broadway cume climbed by about $750,000 to $19.9 million for 23 shows on the boards. That number looks certain to diminish this week, with the absence of “God” as well as “The Norman Conquests” ($396,164), the Tony-winning revival that rose a bit just before it shuttered July 26. Only one show joined the lineup, as dance showcase “Burn the Floor” ($99,456) played its first two preview perfs.