'Dead Accounts' to shutter Jan. 6 after opening Nov. 5

“Dead Accounts,” the Broadway play in which Katie Holmes co-stars, will shutter Jan. 6.

The new play by Theresa Rebeck (“Seminar”), which began perfs Nov. 5, was always pegged for a limited run, but the engagement had initially been skedded to play through Feb. 24. The new closing notice comes in the wake of a slowdown at the box office in recent weeks.

The involvement of Holmes, one member of an ensemble cast that also includes Norbert Leo Butz and Jane Houdyshell, attracted a significant amount press as one of the first projects Holmes undertook in the wake of her gossip-rag-fodder split with Tom Cruise. However, her name on the marquee didn’t translate to boffo B.O., with weekly grosses never topping $450,000 and sales for the week ending Dec. 23 sinking to $243,154. Attendance for that sesh came in at just 38% of total capacity.

Box office wasn’t helped any by the largely unenthusiastic reviews generated by the overall production in the wake of its Nov. 29 opening. Besides, the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can be a challenging time for a new play with an unfamiliar title, at risk of being overshadowed by the razzle-dazzle tuners that turn ticketbuyers’ heads during tourist-heavy periods.

The early demise of “Dead Accounts,” despite the presence of a high-profile performer such as Holmes, underscores the fact that only a very select group of thesps have the box office clout to guarantee slam-dunk Broadway sales. Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts both have shown that strength in prior seasons, and Al Pacino is currently fueling million-dollar-plus weeks in the revival of “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Scarlett Johansson looks poised to join that group of powerhouses as well, given the robust receipts logged by the first week of her stint in the new staging of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Helmed by Jack O’Brien, “Dead Accounts” is produced by Jeffrey Finn (“Scandalous”), John N. Hart Jr., David Mirvish, Amy Nauiokas, Ergo Entertainment, Harriet Newman Leve, Double Gemini Prods., 3toGo Entertainment and the Shubert Org. Early closing leaves Broadway’s Music Box Theater up for grabs for a potential spring booking.

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