Tuner surpasses $1 million in solid week for legit biz

Box office at nearly every Broadway show — including, notably, “Nice Work If You Can Get It” — rose in Week 28 (Dec. 3-9) in the wake of the post-Thanksgiving softening, while the closed or soon-to-close productions made it clear that producers had likely made the right choice in opting to shutter prior to the holidays.

“Nice Work” ($1,064,228) proved an anomaly to broader Rialto trends, surging to more than $1 million in a non-holiday frame when it had steadfastly remained below the $900,000 mark during Thanksgiving and the subsequent week. The show has behaved in surprising ways for months, with a middling summer followed by an unexpected, multi-week rise in B.O. in the fall. The session’s bump could be a mark of the tuner regaining steam in the wake of superstorm Sandy, which knocked sales down a peg for more than a month.

“A Christmas Story” ($1,130,429), snowballing as the titular holiday approaches, and family draw “Annie” ($1,058,727) also stepped back up to more than a million each, giving the frame’s millionaires’ club an unusually populous 10 members. Other shows to get particularly strong rises included “Elf” ($994,479), also benefitting from the impending yule fest, and “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($341,942), both up by significant percentages.

Overall sales climbed almost $1.9 million to $23.8 million for the 30 shows on the boards. Attendance 232,101 was up from the 220,611 logged the prior frame, but the overall capacity of 77% was less than the 82% logged during the same week in 2011, when there were more shows on the boards, and therefore more seats to fill.

Among the few shows to downtick, two had already thrown in the towel: “The Anarchist” ($335,045) and “Scandalous” ($177,438).

The biggest grossing non-musical was Al Pacino vehicle “Glengarry Glen Ross” ($1,181,244).

The 21 musicals grossed $19,471,714 for 81.7% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 183,152 and an average paid admission of $106.31.

The nine plays grossed $4,366,109 for 18.3% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 48,949 and an average paid admission of $89.20.

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