Broadway heats up December chill

'Donny and Marie' among shows posting strong sales

Last week may have been a between-holiday frame, but Broadway still had plenty of Christmas cheer to go around at the box office — and a notable chunk of it came from the Osmonds.

“Donny and Marie: A Broadway Christmas” pulled in a robust $881,925 for just five perfs. That per-perf average is up there with that of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($991,682 for five shows), and “Donny and Marie” hit that number with a lot less media attention.

The hefty gain at “Elf” ($1,302,310), pushing to the No. 3, also indicates that holiday fare is becoming an increasing draw as Christmas approaches.

But it wasn’t just yuletide-themed tuners that gained momentum. Almost every single show on the boards saw an uptick, with overall cume growing by $2.2 million to $25.6 million for 37 shows.

“The Addams Family” ($1,014,185) rejoined the millionaires’ club, bringing the tally of shows topping the $1 million mark to eight. “Mary Poppins” ($982,645) and “Memphis” ($972,959) stepped up to round out the top 10.

Also adding coin to the pot was “The Scottsboro Boys” ($464,251), which saw a major leap of 61% in its final frame on the boards. “The Pitmen Painters” ($172,345) also shuttered Sunday.

Most plays didn’t get the kind of boost that tourist-friendly musicals did, but they still held steady, with “The Merchant of Venice” ($1,074,410) barely wavering and the already-healthy “Driving Miss Daisy” ($732,896) accelerating a bit.

The few dips logged last week were largely unremarkable, with sizable slippage posted at nonprofit productions “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” ($320,315) and “Brief Encounter” ($300,383).

Cumulative attendance climbed by almost 25,000 to 277,015, coming in at 77% of capacity. Holiday season looks likely to keep box offices busy up through the holiday frames, traditionally among the most profitable of the year.

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