'Idiot,' 'Time' buck downward sales trend
New York– Broadway sales dropped as low as the temperatures in Week 35 (Jan. 17-23) — except at “American Idiot,” where Billie Joe Armstrong helped warm the box office.Producers of punk band Green Day’s rock opera “American Idiot” ($901,450) aimed to combat post-holiday doldrums with the star power of the band’s frontman Armstrong. Laura Linney topliner “Time Stands Still” ($425,058) also picked up a bit of steam in one of its final weeks on the boards. Mostly, though, Broadway felt the seasonal chill, with only two shows topping $1 million — consistent powerhouse “Wicked” ($1,401,082) and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,338,162), playing seven previews after one sesh of only six. Overall Broadway sales sank by $2.5 million, falling to $12.3 million for 19 shows on the boards. Contributing to the shortfall is the temporary absence of three shows, including mega-earner “The Merchant of Venice,” all on hiatus until spring. Tally is off almost $2 million compared with the same week in January 2010, when 23 shows were playing. Attendance this frame came in at 144,000 vs. the 175,000 posted last year. The 14 musicals grossed $10,595,967 for 85.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 120,103 at 72.2% capacity and average paid admission of $88.22. The five plays grossed $1,747,613 for 14.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 23,820 at 74.4% capacity and average paid admission of $73.37. Average paid admission was $85.77 for all shows.