Presidents Day weekend, new offerings add to pot
Broadway perked up for Presidents Day, with the long weekend’s spike in tourist traffic pushing B.O. up by almost 30% in Week 38 (Feb. 13-19) compared with the prior frame.Also adding to the pot were two new offerings, including “Death of a Salesman” ($613,569 for six previews), the Philip Seymour Hoffman starrer that pulled in solid numbers for a first week and played to auds that approached 90% of capacity. The brief run of solo outing “Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It” ($305,705 for six) played two previews and four regular perfs, including opening. Except for “The Book of Mormon” ($1,473,606), which held steady, every production on the boards reported gains, many of them significant. The heftiest chunk of change, of course, was pulled in at the top-ticket hits, including “Wicked” ($1,903,024), “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,709,139) and “The Lion King” ($1,665,141), which climbed by more than $300,000 each. Buoyed in part by the increasing prevalence of premium pricing as well as Broadway’s consistently rising ticket prices across the board, “Wicked” came within spitting distance of the $2 million mark, an achievement that a few years ago, used to be reserved for B.O.-busting major holidays such as Thanksgiving. Overall Rialto cume climbed $4.4 million to $20.1 million for the 26 shows on the boards. Attendance was up by 35,000 to almost 210,000, or about 85% of overall capacity. The 17 musicals grossed $16,138,494 for 80.4% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 162,575 and an average paid admission of $99.27. The nine plays grossed $3,932,703 for 19.6% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 47,366 and an average paid admission of $83.03.