'Wicked,' 'Lion King,' 'Mormon' break records
Broadway box offices gobbled up coin last week, celebrating Turkey Day with a cornucopia of record-breaking numbers.
A dozen shows pulled in more than $1 million each, and two of those topped $2 million each.
“Wicked” ($2,290,819), above, logged the highest tally from a single eight-perf week ever, as well as the highest non-Christmas sesh. It also reclaimed the lead spot in the Top 10 from frequent rival “The Lion King” ($2,125,661, a house record). Meanwhile, the average price paid per ticket at “The Book of Mormon” ($1,801,672, another house record) hit a gobsmacking $205.86.
The recently opened revival of “Annie” ($1,499,879) showed the well-known title’s power with family auds, logging its best numbers by far and breaking a B.O. record at its own theater, the Palace.
New musical “A Christmas Story” ($1,104,312 for nine shows), buoyed by the largely favorable reviews the production garnered in the wake of its Nov. 19 opening, nearly doubled its gross compared to the prior frame. Show handily beat out its rival holiday offering “Elf” ($997,145), which also played an extra ninth perf last week.
Stalwart out-of-towner faves including “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,125,470), “Mary Poppins” ($1,118,687) and “Jersey Boys” ($1,009,048) all returned to the millionaires’ club. So did newer shows “Once” ($1,166,784, a house record), “Newsies” ($1,106,383, another house record) and “Evita” ($1,012,795).
With the big-name tuners grabbing the attention of ticketbuyers looking for holiday razzle-dazzle, Thanksgiving can be a tough week to be a play. “The Heiress” ($505,468), “The Anarchist” ($317,201) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” ($304,196) were among the small handful of shows to log declines. Katie Holmes starrer “Dead Accounts” ($402,460), which opens Nov. 29, was up but not by much.
The only play that really bucked the trend was “Peter and the Starcatcher,” up almost 75% to $540,463, likely benefiting from its family-friendly link to “Peter Pan.” Al Pacino topliner “Glengarry Glen Ross” ($853,737), a B.O.-buster in prior frames, was off, but that’s because the show only played five perfs last week.
Even among musicals, there were have-nots as well as haves. “Nice Work If You Can Get It” ($877,412) did just fine, but barely improved at all compared to the prior non-holiday week. “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” ($370,869) also was only up a bit, while “Scandalous” ($194,511), reeling from mostly negative reviews, played to houses that averaged just 31% capacity.
Overall Broadway cume climbed more than $6 million to $27,019,879 for 31 shows, with attendance rising only slightly to 246,464. That’s down compared to the 2011 Thanksgiving tally, which hit around $28.1 million for 34 shows on the boards. Attendance that year came in at 269,558.