Overall sales steady last week
A trio of queens became box office royalty, a jet-age swindler’s show took off despite downbeat reviews, and auds finally started noticing that guy in the hat last week on Broadway.Among three recently opened productions to post notable rises, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” ($1,003,186) logged its first sesh in the millionaire’s club, continuing to build on the momentum gained since it opened March 20. Meanwhile, boosted by strong positive notices in the wake of its April 11 opening, Chris Rock topliner “The Motherfucker With the Hat” ($448,583) rose more than $175,000 (or 66%) in a week that also accommodated the production’s comp-heavy opening and second-night press perfs. More unusually, “Catch Me If You Can” ($717,349) was up almost as much — after an April 10 opening that yielded far less enthusiastic reviews. Auds seem to have decided to catch “Catch Me” anyway. Another recipient of recent good press, “Anything Goes” ($657,669), was up more than $100,000. Joining “Priscilla” among the millionaires were perennials “Wicked” ($1,663,270) and “The Lion King” ($1,619,576), “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,381,937) — in its final frame before the current three-week retooling shutdown — and “Mary Poppins” ($1,009,127), the up-and-down seller that was certainly up last week with an influx of family auds. Two more new additions to the season, “The Book of Mormon” ($974,809) and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($964,025), continued to post robust figures, and soon-to-shutter “American Idiot” ($854,693) stepped up some $150,000 powered by last-minute biz and the thesping stint of Green Day topliner Billie Joe Armstrong. While sales for the crowded Rialto lineup rose a bit overall, a number of shows continued to have trouble getting noticed, including Kathleen Turner starrer “High” ($91,020) and Jim Belushi topliner “Born Yesterday” ($146,459). “Lombardi” ($182,528), playing to 46% capacity, dipped below the $200,000 mark, while “Million Dollar Quartet” ($274,896) also stumbled. As the clock ticks down to the April 28 eligibility cutoff, total Main Stem sales hit $23.9 million for 38 shows on the boards. Attendance remained steady at 303,076, well up over the 260,000 logged last year during the same frame.