Musicals lose ground to plays at B.O.

'Wicked' regains pole position on Broadway

New York– “Wicked” reclaimed its top spot on Broadway in Week 34 (Jan. 10-16), in a frame that saw sales drop in the traditional January slowdown.

“Wicked” ($1,540,868) and “The Lion King” ($1,334,354) beat prior sesh’s champ “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,258,330), which played only six preview perfs rather than a full eight.

Nearly every tuner on the boards posted declines.

On the other hand, it wasn’t a bad week to be a play, with nearly all of the shows that logged week-to-week gains falling in the non-tuner category. “Lombardi” ($404,096), for instance, posted its highest tally to date, while “Next to Normal” ($552,653) finished its 22-month Broadway run by attracting enough last-minute biz to break its own house record at the Booth Theater. Overall Broadway sales fell $5.9 million to $14.9 million for 21 shows on the boards. That drop is even more severe than last year at this time, when sales slipped only a bit to $17.6 million for 25 shows, and attendance hit 84% capacity vs. the 79% reported this year.

The 16 tuners grossed $13,134,059 for 88.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 146,146 at 76.9% capacity and average paid admission of $89.87. The five plays grossed $1,762,833 for 11.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 23,947 at 65.1% capacity and average paid admission of $73.61. Average paid admission was $87.58 for all shows.

— Gordon Cox and Robert Voris

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