Play's sales spike in stable B.O. week
“The Motherfucker With the Hat” muscled its way into Broadway’s Top 10 last week, with the final week of the Chris Rock starrer posting a B.O. spike thanks to last-minute biz.
It’s not often that plays join the ranks of the razzle-dazzle musicals that usually dominate the Rialto’s list of top sellers. But in this case, “Motherfucker” ($870,024) came in behind another non-tuner, “War Horse” ($976,735), which continues to maintain its thoroughbred momentum on the strength of Tony wins and an elaborate puppet design that has become the show’s B.O.-enhancing star.
Also bringing back some coin to the Street was Daniel Radcliffe, who performed a full week in “How to Succeed in Business Without Trying” ($1,177,086) after a five-perf sesh necessitated by the star’s temporary absence the prior week, timed to the opening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” and its attendant promotional duties. Revival’s grosses leapt by almost $430,000.
In a less spectacular bump, “Master Class” ($304,557), climbed by more than $75,000, or 34%, probably thanks to the general thumbs-up critics gave star Tyne Daly when the show opened a couple of weeks ago.
But despite such gains, overall Broadway sales generally held steady, with the week’s cume down just slightly to $21.3 million for 25 shows on the boards, according to figures compiled by the Broadway League.
The majority of individual productions saw sales increase somewhat, and none of the week’s declines were remarkable. Still, the gains were balanced in part by the absence of “The Normal Heart” and “Ghetto Klown,” both of which played their final frames during the previous sesh and contributed inflated sales to the overall total.
Not all shows last week had it easy attracting the summertime tourists who help to keep the season’s B.O. aloft. The return visit of “Hair” ($312,070), for instance, played to houses that averaged about 56% of capacity, although that could be attributable in part to the fact that the new addition to the Main Stem hasn’t yet carved out much of profile for itself with ticketbuyers.
Also still working to gain tourist traction was “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” ($705,441), playing to audiences that averaged 60% of capacity. Business at Beatles tribute “Rain” ($245,902) also seems to be drying up, playing to houses not much more than half full.