'View' is good, but overall box office slumps

The view looked pretty good from “A View from the Bridge” last week, the Broadway play revival that rode rave reviews to a box office boost of nearly $200,000.

That’s enough to put “Bridge” ($731,939), starring Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson, in the top ten in a week when most shows declined, although none drastically, in the throes of the usual January doldrums.

Last week the Manhattan Theater Club production of another play, “Time Stands Still” ($263,964), also scored glowing reviews, with grosses holding about steady in a week that accommodated heavily-comped press perfs and the opening night. The coming weeks will tell whether the notices will increase momentum for the Donald Margulies play toplined by Laura Linney.

Overall, Main Stem sales were probably a bit too low for comfort for producers of the majority of Rialto offerings. In an increasingly unusual development in an era of regularly rising ticket prices, there were only three members of the frame’s millionaires’ club: “Wicked” ($1,337,056), “Billy Elliot” ($1,075,181) and “Jersey Boys” ($1,067,889).

Even habitual millionaire “The Lion King” ($939,523) slipped under the million mark, coming in just ahead of “A Little Night Music” ($905,001), down a bit but still logging strong numbers for a show in a smaller venue.

With tourist scarce and Gotham shivering in frigid winter temperatures, box office for many offerings remained soft. “Mamma Mia!” ($573,759), “Mary Poppins” ($550,048), “South Pacific” ($541,860), “Hair” ($500,372) and “Chicago” ($335,045) were all among the shows feeling the chill.

On the other hand, new tuner “Memphis” ($540,930) rose a bit in a potentially promising sign, while “Fela!” ($526,784) slipped only slightly. “In the Heights” ($503,832), up about $10,000, didn’t instantly get a major boost from last week’s addition of “High School Musical” star Corbin Bleu to the cast.

“God of Carnage” ($400,269) also stepped up, barely topping $400,000. A new cast (including original cast member Jeff Daniels) starting in early March, coupled with the trickling return of springtime visitors to the city, seems likely to help sales there pick up.

Overall Rialto box office slid by about $650,000 to $13.6 million, up a bit compared to last year at this time. Attendance hit 166,708 or 76% — up just slightly from the 165,914 or 75% reported in 2009.

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