'Lion King,' 'Wicked' dethroned at box office

“The Book of Mormon” stayed on Broadway’s top shelf last week, with the foul-mouthed Tony magnet maintaining its No. 1 slot on the Rialto in Week 16 (Sept. 10-16).

“Mormon” ($1,618,059) finished ahead of more frequent top dogs “The Lion King” ($1,599,094) and “Wicked” ($1,435,082) for the second week in a row. That feat was all the more impressive given the small size of the “Mormon” venue — 1,066 seats vs. 1,677 at “Lion King” and 1,809 at “Wicked.”

As mid-September frames go, the week wasn’t a bad one overall. Although sales still reflected the post-summer tourist slowdown, box office was nonetheless up week-to-week at the majority of productions.

Contributing to the relatively strong September cume was the latter half of the fortnight-long Broadway Week, which encouraged attendance with two-for-one ticket deals at a slew of Rialto titles.

Adding coin to the pot was Paul Rudd-Michael Shannon topliner “Grace,” with its first three previews pulling in $219,944, a respectable showing for an untried nonmusical title in its early days.

Overall Broadway sales rang in at $17.4 million for the 22 shows, up about $475,000 from the prior frame. Attendance rose some 8,000 to 189,930 — an increase from the same week in 2011, when attendance came in at 178,675 for 20 shows that pulled in a total of $16 million.

The 17 musicals grossed $15,934,680 for 91.6% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 165,910 and an average paid admission of $96.04.

The five plays grossed $1,468,056 for 8.4% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 24,020 and an average paid admission of $61.12.

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