Non-musicals buck downward trend

Despite a week-to-week decline of more than $1 million in Week 5 (June 25-July 1), business on Broadway is quite healthy.

“Wicked” ($2,033,004) topped the $2 million mark for the second consecutive week, while “Newsies” ($1,048,090) and “Once” ($1,039,207) saw record frames. Both shows broke the $1 million mark, while “Mary Poppins” ($929,166), “The Phantom of the Opera” ($889,043) and “Jersey Boys” ($887,165) all did good biz. “Jesus Christ Superstar” ($678,052, up 34%) ended its unprofitable run with a strong week, and joins “Godspell” in Semi-Religious Musical Revival Heaven.

The Rialto’s relative strength is obvious when compared with the same time last year. Two more productions are playing this season, overall sales are more than $2 million higher, and the skid that the box office hits around this time of year is far less severe (down 4% vs. 8%) despite so many productions being plays, which traditionally do not fare well in warmer weather.

But many plays are bucking that trend this year, with star-driven “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man” ($716,182) Tony fave “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($687,525), British comedy “One Man, Two Guvnors” ($639,890) and Jim Parsons starrer “Harvey” ($629,617) all outselling a number of tuners despite playing in smaller houses.

The pattern of a decline in overall sales combined with strong increases at individual productions should continue as tourist bait benefits from an influx of Independence Day revelers.

Broadway sales were $23,877,254 for the 30 shows playing, with attendance of 244,100.

The 20 musicals grossed $19,214,919 for 80.5% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 186,234 and an average paid admission of $103.18.

The 10 plays grossed $4,662,335 for 19.5% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 57,866 and an average paid admission of $80.57.

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