B.O. rises despite bad weather and elections
Figures for Broadway’s box office and attendance were still a bit storm-tossed in the first full frame (Nov. 5-11) after Sandy.Attendance hit 219,655, much better than the 149,443 logged during the prior storm-shortened week, but less than the 257,751 logged for the same week last year. The sales tally rose to $19,598,827 for the 32 shows on the boards. Last year’s sesh, also with 32 productions, pulled in $23.8 million in advance of the traditional Thanksgiving holiday boom. Of course, Week 24 had other obstacles besides storm recovery. Nov. 6 was the annual B.O. drain of Election Night, and soon thereafter, a nor’easter kept the weather inhospitable for a couple of days. Plus, it was the first complete week following a time change, which some legiters blame for a regular downtick in sales. Among individual shows, “Annie” ($872,700) was perhaps the attention-getter of the week, in that the musical accommodated a slew of comps for press perfs and its Nov. 8 opening, but nonetheless managed to post its highest tally since it began previews Oct. 3. The show earned mixed reviews, but it looks as if the sun could indeed come out tomorrow for the tuner, given the title’s potentially strong draw with the family auds that flock to the Rialto during holiday frames. “Annie” even beat out “Evita” ($864,021), the Ricky Martin starrer that regularly carves out a perch in the millionaires’ club, but seems to be taking its time in getting back up to speed. The 21 musicals grossed $15,627,080 for 79.7% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 168,419 and an average paid admission of $92.79. The 11 plays grossed $3,971,747 for 20.3% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 51,236 and an average paid admission of $77.52.