City visitors keep box office strong

Broadway held steady last week, even with the absence of the shuttered revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and dips at “Wicked” and “The Lion King,” which went back to eight-performance weeks following a frame in which both shows played an extra outing.

Both “Wicked” ($2,055,433) and “The Lion King” ($2,039,698) managed to top the $2 million mark, still sustained by the summer tourist demand that prompted the shows to each add a ninth perf last week. (“Lion King” is skedded to play a ninth show during a week in August as well.) Biggest bump of the frame was logged at “Evita” ($1,253,587), which was up 21% (or more than $200,000) as if to confirm that the show has recovered from the steep drop logged a couple of seshes ago due to the skedded absence of topliner Ricky Martin.

Also gaining steam last week was “Fela!” ($348,776), climbing 14% in what may be an indicator that the tuner’s limited seasonal run has finally started to turn consumer heads. Still in previews, another summertime offering, “Bring It On” ($467,219), rose in its first full week of eight perfs and played to auds at about 93% of capacity. Figures seemingly bode well for the Gotham stint of the cheerleader tuner; if such numbers continue, they could prompt an extension of the production’s limited run.

“Ghost” ($584,172) also climbed, in a bump likely spurred in part by the recent announcement the show would close Aug. 18.

Most individual productions saw sales rise last week; the handful of those that didn’t were mostly plays, which often have trouble competing with tuner fare in the tourist-heavy summer frames. “One Man, Two Guvnors” ($599,544), “The Best Man” ($540,523), “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($470,317) were among the shows to slow.

Overall Rialto cume came in at $23.4 million for 27 shows on the boards, with attendance down slightly to 235,762. So far this year the Main Stem has come in ahead of last season at this time, pulling in about $216.6 million vs. the $195.2 million reported for the same nine-week frame last year at this time. Attendance, which has so far hit 2,231,766, also has pulled ahead of the same window in 2011.

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