Theater biz logs seasonal uptick at box office
The nation’s rolling spring break sked brought tourists back to Gotham last week — and with them a nice boost to Broadway’s box office.The influx of visitors, plus an increasingly robust slate that includes six previewing offerings, added up to a rise of about $2.1 million, to $20.1 million for 33 shows on the boards. Biggest bumps, of course, were seen at the tourist-friendly tuners, with “The Lion King” ($1,328,250), “The Phantom of the Opera” ($946,044) and “Mamma Mia!” ($830,279) among the offerings climbing by more than $100,000 each. “Mary Poppins” ($970,415) rose more than $210,000. The previewing show with the most recognizable title, “The Addams Family” ($1,328,460), also drew crowds, hanging on to its number-two spot in the top ten for its first full week of eight previews. (It played seven the prior frame.) Average price paid per ticket was an impressive $114.50. Soon-to-open “Come Fly Away” ($598,912) — a show that likely benefits from its use of familiar Frank Sinatra tunes — rose a bit, while “Million Dollar Quartet” ($343,418), another musical with a score comprised of familiar songs, played its first full week of eight previews. The biggest publicity magnet of the weekend, of course, was “Memphis” ($629,872), thanks to Sunday’s visit from the Obamas. The rise there was about in keeping with the rest of the Street; it remains to be whether the flurry of press will cause a notable spike in sales over the coming frames. Plays are traditionally overshadowed by razzle-dazzle tuners during frames when out-of-towners drive B.O., and that was certainly true last week. Previewing offerings “Lend Me a Tenor” ($287,396) and “Red ($214,856) each stepped up to a seven-perf week, while “The Miracle Worker” ($198,347) and “Looped” ($180,830) struggled to attract notice. Grosses for “Next Fall” ($166,259) remained on the low side, but the recent strong reviews for the show seem to have contributed to a 52% rise in sales, even in a sesh that included a final perf accommodating press tickets. New revue “Sondheim on Sondheim” was the one show joining the lineup last week, earning $169,004 for its first three previews.
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