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Broadway holds steady over Memorial Day

Few notable rises, dips in first week of 2010-11 season

Memorial Day weekend proved neither a boon nor a bomb to Broadway box office last week, the first official frame (at least according to the bookkeepers) of the 2010-11 season.

The majority of shows posted dips, but few were major and the overall Main Stem tally was down by around $575,000 to $22.3 million for 33 shows on the boards.

Seven shows landed in the millionaires’ club, most notably “Fences” ($1,002,741), the straight play pulling in tuner-like sales thanks to the star power of Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.

Among the few gains of the week were “The Phantom of the Opera” ($923,158), likely benefiting a bit from weekend visitors to the city, and “A Little Night Music” ($795,273), rising somewhat as star Catherine Zeta-Jones struggles with a lingering illness that has prompted her to take a handful of sick days.

Tony nomination attention may have helped some shows along last week — particularly the new musical contenders. “American Idiot” ($840,089), “Memphis” ($672,469) and “Million Dollar Quartet” ($522,688) were each up by between $20,000 and $30,000. The fourth new tuner contender, “Fela!” ($600,499), held steady.

The heftiest losses of the frame, in terms of percentages, were logged by “Come Fly Away” ($713,653), down 16%, and “Rock of Ages” ($474,945), off by 11%. “Promises, Promises” ($1,065,628) slipped by about $125,000 but still came in at more than $1 million.

Attendance declined by about 6,000 to 263,079.

Next up for the Rialto: the early June waiting game for the Tonys, which will likely cause a sales spike for the top tuner winner, if for no other production.

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