Graduation gift to Broadway box office

Families visiting for commencement boost popular shows

NEW YORK — Broadway grosses got a nice boost in week 52 (May 16-22), in part due to families in town for graduation ceremonies.

Eight shows made the frame’s millionaires’ club, with “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($1,057,840) and “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” ($1,028,470) among the tuners stepping up to join.

“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,260,794) returned to eight-perf weeks, playing to 95% of capacity, which indicates there’s still interest (for the moment, anyway) in the ongoing evolution of the big-budget comicbook tuner.

As is usually the case in frames when visitors come to town, it was the big-title tuners and family shows that posted the largest gains, with the exception of “Mary Poppins” ($771,761), due to a couple of regular perfs nixed to accommodate a private event.

With almost every single show on the rise, overall Broadway sales climbed about $1.9 million to $24.9 million for 35 shows on the boards.

Still, in a crowded, competitive season, some shows had trouble drawing auds, particularly among plays. Revivals “Born Yesterday” ($288,933) and “Arcadia” ($213,594), for instance, played to capacities of 55% and 47%, respectively.

The 21 musicals grossed $19,068,900 for 76.5% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 215,069 at 92.7% capacity and average paid admission of $88.66.

The 14 plays grossed $5,842,386 for 23.5% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 73,688 at 74.9% capacity and average paid admission of $79.29.

Average paid admission was $86.27 for all shows.

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