Memorial Day brings mixed week at box office
Even in the era of premium-priced seating, a non-musical with weekly sales topping the $1 million mark is a rarity. It’s even rarer when the show does it with just seven perfs in a week rather than the usual eight.
But the strong-selling revival of “Death of a Salesman” ($1,014,413 for seven perfs), toplined by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield, nonetheless managed it for the first time last week. The feat is attributable more to the well-received production’s Saturday closing than to any uptick in traffic associated with the long Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day, after all, isn’t a slam-dunk for the Broadway box office, with the holiday’s traditional outdoor activities among the factors drawing potential auds away from the Rialto. Overall attendance, in fact, was down about 10,000 to 284,784 (or 81% of overall Rialto capacity) for the week.
Still, the Street’s highest profile shows benefitted from their strong brands to post sales bumps. Last season’s juggernaut “The Book of Mormon” ($1,609,478) broke yet another house record, and in the latest round of pole-position jostling, “Wicked” ($1,896,633) nudged “The Lion King” ($1,809,051) out of the No. 1 slot in the Top 10. “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,506,692) climbed notably, as did longer-running tourist faves such as “The Phantom of the Opera” ($991,815) and “Mary Poppins” ($878,715).
Some of the more recent additions to Broadway, gaining momentum in the wake of awards-season attention, also stayed strong, including “Evita” ($1,567,080), “Nice Work if You Can Get It” ($1,005,802), “Newsies” ($976,387), “Once” ($820,323) and “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($463,652). Others, on the hand, proved less successful at luring auds, with shows including “Ghost” ($579,793) and “One Man, Two Guvnors” ($577,836), both British imports, among those logging declines.
The only show in previews, Jim Parsons topliner “Harvey” ($470,267), played its first full week of previews, reporting a solid tally for a nonprofit play.
Broadway cume slipped by around $800,000 to $27 million for 36 shows on the boards.