Chastain's marquee presence helps play at box office

Most of Broadway continued its upswing in week 25 (Nov. 12-18), with overall sales rising in advance of the traditionally boffo Thanksgiving frame, and offering possible indications as to which of the season’s newer offerings could attract Turkey Day crowds.

“Annie” ($883,946) logged its best numbers, which seems a good sign of growing momentum for a title with strong family appeal as it headed into Thanksgiving. Play revival “The Heiress” ($614,916), toplined by Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens, also posted its top tally, although it’s historically tougher for plays to pack houses in holiday frames dominated by tourists looking for the razzle-dazzle of tuners.

The exception to that rule was “Glengarry Glen Ross” ($1,157,319 for seven perfs), which returned to the millionaires’ club to muscle past “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,112,179) in the rankings. “The Book of Mormon” ($1,620,206) held on to the top spot.

“The Performers” ($218,095), which opened Nov. 14, rose 20%, but it wasn’t enough to keep the show, already hobbled at the box office by superstorm Sandy, from shuttering Nov. 18.

Overall Broadway sales climbed $1.3 million to $20.9 million for the 33 shows on the boards. Attendance rose more than 15,000 to 236,771 (or about 75% of potential capacity).

The 21 musicals grossed $16,120,357 for 77.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 175,276 and an average paid admission of $91.97.

The 12 plays grossed $4,760,915 for 22.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 61,495 and an average paid admission of $77.42.

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