Pacino revival's big sales put the show in profit
The Broadway revival of “Glengarry Glen Ross,” toplined by Al Pacino, has ridden its stellar weekly sales into the black, according to the production’s producers.
The David Mamet play becomes the first show of the season to announce that it’s recouped its capitalization costs. Production was on the pricey side for a nonmusical with a moderately sized cast of eight — capitalization came in at $3.3 million, according to the producers — and also carries unusually hefty running costs, in large part due to the much-publicized $125,000 a week that Pacino gets.
Still, no one doubted that “Glengarry,” which began previews Oct. 19, would turn a profit. In previews the show played only seven perfs a week rather than the usual eight, but that didn’t stop the title from pulling in more than $1 million per frame. Momentum was barely slowed by the shutdown from superstorm Sandy in late October, and the production also played a short week of five perfs during Thanksgiving, a sesh during which most other shows aim to capitalize on the seasonal flood of tourist biz.
Producers raised eyebrows when, in the wake of Sandy, the show’s Nov. 11 opening was pushed all the way back to Dec. 8 in a move that producers attributed to the loss of rehearsals and performances during the days when the hurricane’s fallout snarled the city’s transportation grid; they also pointed to the pileup of openings around the Thanksgiving holiday, forcing them to move the opening beyond that to avoid congestion.
It was already clear by that point that “Glengarry” biz was boffo enough that it didn’t need reviews anyway, and some observers speculated producers pushed back the date to avoid potential negative reaction from critics. In fact the show earned a wide range of notices, stretching from raves to pans and encompassing everything in between.
Revival, which also stars Bobby Canavale, looks poised to continue to do well through the holidays and will likely see B.O. remain lofty even in January, when the Main Stem as a whole takes a post-holiday hit. “Glengarry” could well pull in a tidy profit by the time it shutters Jan. 20.
The coin may take the sting out of the losses sustained from the flop of “The Anarchist,” the new Mamet play produced by the same lead producers, including Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Jam Theatricals. That show closed Dec. 16, two weeks after it opened, following downbeat reviews.