The Mouse roared on Broadway last week, with all three tuners from Disney Theatrical Prods. logging sales of more than $1 million each — with one, “The Lion King,” breaking the $2 million mark to top the chart.
“Lion King” ($2,002,353) has been in a tug-of-war over the No. 1 slot with “Wicked” ($1,980,214) for months now, and both those shows have made a habit of pulling in more than $2 million in a strong week. Disney’s “Mary Poppins” ($1,021,205) is prone to far more week-to-week fluctuation, but since the musical’s B.O. resurgence a few seasons ago, it seems to draw big crowds during family-friendly vacation frames such as last week.
With Disney’s new kid on the block, “Newsies” ($1,055,178), now looking like a consistent member of the millionaires’ club (at least for the summer), it seems that worries about the overextension of Disney’s Broadway brand are moot with these three shows on the boards.
Also maintaining its strength last week was “Once” ($1,015,977), the Tony winner that has brought in million-dollar sales for the last month or so despite its modest scale. Another spring opener, “Evita” ($1,212,448), made a comeback to the Top 10 with the return of topliner Ricky Martin, whose vacation the previous frame caused box office to plummet.
Some long-running shows with high-profile titles also benefitted from tourist biz, particularly “Chicago” ($771,152), up a whopping 35% (or close to $200,000). Among newer fare, “Nice Work If You Can Get It” ($814,142) regained some steam, whereas “Ghost” ($575,956) stayed flat.
Sales rose at the majority of individual productions on the boards — even at a fair number of plays, which can often have a hard time competing with razzle-dazzle musicals during the summer. Brit import “One Man, Two Guvnors” ($636,677) proved the top nonmusical of the sesh, placing just ahead of Jim Parsons topliner “Harvey” ($600,469), which was down somewhat, as was “The Best Man” ($547,947). The one play on the Rialto with which Disney is affiliated, “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($517,681), remained steady.
Among the two offerings joining the slate last week, “Bring It On” ($235,957 for four previews) posted solid numbers, playing to 95% capacity, whereas the return visit of “Fela!” ($238,642 for eight perfs), a tough sell the first time around and now hampered by its last-minute addition to the summer sked, started slow.
Overall Broadway cume rose about $1 million to $23.4 million for 28 shows on the boards. Attendance climbed to around 240,000, or 84% of the Street’s total capacity.