'Lion King' box office rules over all shows
NEW YORK Broadway box office got a healthy boost in Week 39 (Feb. 14-20), with almost every production posting a week-to-week gain — including “The Lion King,” which became one of the rare tuners to nudge “Wicked” out of its near-constant perch at the top of the heap.The week’s shows managed to benefit not only from the holiday uptick prompted by Presidents Day weekend but also from date-night biz for Valentine’s Day, which fell on a Monday. Many productions are traditionally dark that day, including “Lion King” ($1,534,779). But in anticipation of a surge of hand-holding couples, the tuner shifted its week’s sked to include a Monday perf. Among plays, “That Championship Season” ($636,883) posted strong numbers in only its second week of previews, with the show, driven by a starry ensemble cast, playing to auds approaching 90% capacity. Overall, Main Stem sales climbed $1.8 million to $16.9 million for 22 shows on the boards. The 15 musicals grossed $13,577,035 for 80.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 148,591 at 84.1% capacity and average paid admission of $91.37. The seven plays grossed $3,353,106 for 19.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 38,414 at 86.5% capacity and average paid admission of $87.29. Average paid admission was $90.53 for all shows.