Tourist influx boosts 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 preview offerings, added up to a rise of about $2.1 million, to $20.1 million for 33 shows on the boards.
Biggest bumps were at the tourist-friendly tuners, with “The Lion King” ($1,328,250), “The Phantom of the Opera” ($946,044) and “Mamma Mia!” ($830,279) climbing by more than $100,000 each. “Mary Poppins” ($970,415) rose more than $210,000.
“The Addams Family” ($1,328,460), still in previews, also drew crowds, hanging on to its No. 2 spot in the top 10 for its first full week of eight previews. (It played seven the prior frame.) Average price paid per ticket was $114.50.
Soon-to-open “Come Fly Away” ($598,912) — a show that will benefit from its use of popular 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 was “Memphis” ($629,872), thanks to Sunday’s visit from the Obamas. The rise there was in keeping with the rest of the Street; it remains to be seen 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.
Grosses for “Next Fall” ($166,259) remained on the low side, but the recent strong reviews for the show 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.
The 22 musicals grossed $17,000,467 for 81.6% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 203,724 at 89.9% capacity and average paid admission of $83.45.
The 11 plays grossed $3,836,409 for 18.4% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 57,309 at 75.7% capacity and average paid admission of $66.94.
Average paid admission was $79.82 for all shows.
– Gordon Cox and Sam Thielman