Seasonal slowdown continues to loom
Broadway recovered seamlessly from Hurricane Irene last week, with grosses rebounding and every production back up to a full eight-perf week. But there was early evidence of the upcoming September slowdown, with some shows posting receipts that didn’t reach the heights of more abundant frames earlier this summer.
Still, five tuners made more than $1 million each last week, and the one show currently in previews, “Follies” ($806,875), gained enough steam to land in the top 10 for the first time.
That’s a solid pre-opening take for the revival of a musical that’s far more serious-minded than most of the Street’s other options. Show, toplined by Bernadette Peters, will look to build on that foundation as it heads toward its Sept. 12 opening.
Whereas new juggernauts such as “The Book of Mormon” ($1,272,792) and enduring chart-toppers such as “Wicked” ($1,602,104) stayed robust, other productions proved more vulnerable to late-summer slippage. “Mary Poppins” ($761,321) didn’t hit the same heights it did during its busiest summer frames.
A trio of shows played their final perfs over the weekend, exiting prior to the difficult back-to-school sales climate that hits Broadway after Labor Day. But none of the three — “Catch Me If You Can” ($600,545), “Baby It’s You!” ($407,517) and “Master Class” ($346,806) — logged a notable boost in last-minute biz.
Regardless, every single show on the boards was up compared to the prior, partly hurricane-darkened frame, with “Anything Goes” ($781,412) leaping a giant 150% and “Billy Elliot” ($711,702) doubling its figures vs. the previous sesh. Overall sales rose $6.8 million to $18.5 million for 23 shows on the boards, outpacing the same week last season, which came in at $16.7 million for 22 shows.
With three tuners now gone and one more, “Hair” ($337,645), playing its final frame this week — not to mention the seasonal sales slowdown — Broadway B.O. will continue to deflate for the next few weeks before the onslaught of fall openings begins.