'Bring It On,' 'Mormon' buck the B.O. trend

Broadway box office began its usual late-summer slowdown last week, as the majority of individual shows on the boards posted dips while other productions reporting rises could generally attribute them to imminent closings.

Recent opener “Bring It On” ($508,052) had perhaps the most cause for optimism, as sales upticked by 7% in a week that saw overall Main Stem attendance slip. With the show having recently extended through the end of the year, the sesh’s buck-the-trend rise could indicate growing momentum for the cheerleader tuner.

Meanwhile, aud demand at “The Book of Mormon” ($1,651,064) remained unflagging, with the show managing to break house records both on Broadway and in its national tour’s opening week in Denver, where the title logged around $1.3 million. “War Horse” ($540,524) also stepped up a bit, and the biggest jump of the sesh was an unsurprising one as topliner Ricky Martin’s return to “Evita” ($1,039,196) after a weeklong absence drove the show’s tally up by $300,000.

Two other shows that posted gains, “Ghost” ($634,581) and “End of the Rainbow” ($325,001), each benefited from last-minute biz prior to closing over the weekend, while “One Man, Two Guvnors” ($659,289, a best-ever tally for the show) and “Porgy and Bess” ($524,067) climbed in advance of closing next month.

Otherwise, most productions slipped at the B.O. last week. The largest drops are easily explained, with the $260,000 falloff at “The Lion King” ($1,958,780) and the $325,000 slowdown at “Wicked” ($1,818,537) attributable to the fact that each show returned to playing an eight-perf week following a frame in which each played an additional ninth show. In general, few of the Street’s individual drops were major, with the biggest being at “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” (off by $150,000 to $1,542,699).

Broadway cume sank $1.2 million to $20.9 million for 24 shows on the boards. Attendance was down by 10,000 to 208,499 — and was also down by about the same amount compared to the same week in 2011. Overall audience capacity, though, came in at a not-bad 83%.

While there wasn’t much to get excited about in the sales figures, at least legiters were probably prepared for the slowdown. Box office usually begins to slide around now, just prior to the severe doldrums that traditionally hit sales in the weeks immediately following Labor Day.

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