Broadway sales continued to soften last week following the annual spring-break boost — but that didn’t stop playgoers from turning out en masse for Denzel Washington.
“Fences,” the revival of the August Wilson play toplined by Washington and Viola Davis, played just six previews but nonetheless pulled in a hefty $703,724 with auds at 98% of capacity. That B.O. power echoes the success Washington saw with 2005 Main Stem outing “Julius Caesar.”
Also bucking the general downward trend was “Million Dollar Quartet” ($448,146), rising a whopping 54% on the back of positive notices. And after a week of seven previews, “Promises, Promises” ($988,313) went up to eight previews, rising $145,000 to approach the $1 million mark.
Tuner “The Addams Family” ($1,261,490) rose a bit, despite accommodating a chunk of second-night press comps. So far the tepid reviews haven’t hampered B.O., although it won’t be until later that the Rialto will see how enduring these robust receipts — currently boosted by pre-review sales for a much-loved property — will be.
Two new plays also climbed, with “Red” ($497,664) up 17% after strong reviews and “Lend Me a Tenor” ($469,171) logging an uptick.
In general, though, the tallies of most productions declined with the large-scale crowdpleasers, as usual, hardest hit by the post-spring break slowdown of Gotham tourist traffic. “Mary Poppins” ($819,578) fell 32% (or about $390,000), while “The Phantom of the Opera” ($864,039) and “West Side Story” ($858,057) were among the shows to slide around 20% each.
Total Broadway sales slipped $1.3 million to $21.2 million for 33 shows on the boards. Attendance was down about 7,000 to 260,484.