As expected, overall Broadway box office figures fell steeply last week, with some shows playing as few as four perfs each due to the weekend cancellations prompted by Hurricane Irene.
But most legiters probably didn’t expect two shows to still come in above the $1 million mark.
“The Lion King” ($1,081,144) and “Wicked” ($1,031,290) each made it into the millionaires’ club playing just five shows each last week, with “Lion King” pouncing on the No. 1 spot more typically occupied by “Wicked.” “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($933,424 for five perfs) topped $900,000.
Such robust numbers are particularly impressive given that weekend performances at most shows attract the biggest crowds of any frame and usually generate a major chunk of coin.
Given the disparity in regular playing skeds, it’s tough to compare numbers between individual shows, since some productions — including “The Phantom of the Opera” ($607,372) and “Mamma Mia!” ($588,493) — got in six perfs each prior to the weekend shutdown and one, “Billy Elliot” ($358,485), only played four.
The most popular hits of last season were among those to log capacity attendance (or close to it) at the shows they did play, including “The Book of Mormon” ($786,459) and “War Horse” ($625,160), both playing to completely full houses, and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($700,978).
Overall cume fell $8.5 million (or 42%) to $11.6 million for 23 shows on the boards, and attendance plummeted to 130,853.
Broadway picked up with regularly skedded perfs as soon as the weekend was over, with productions including “Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” “Chicago” and “The Phantom of the Opera” resuming Monday night.
Legiters who missed out on weekend B.O. can at least look forward to one more sesh of healthy summer sales prior to the annual back-to-school slump, which hits Broadway like a ton of bricks immediately following Labor Day.