Tony comps eat into grosses
It was low tide on Broadway for the first week of the new season (May 28-June 3), as attendance fell by about 10% — some 27,500 theatergoers — in a frame that landed in between the tourism highs of the recent spring-break weeks and the imminent high-summer seshes.Nearly every show on the boards logged declines, with the dips at several of the current season’s shows exacerbated by the comped tickets that go to Tony votes in the weeks leading up to the kudos. Among the few that didn’t slow down was “Death of a Salesman” ($1,066,582), again breaking the record at the Barrymore Theater and capitalizing on the high demand spurred by the final week of its limited run, which ended June 2. Another offering with some awards-season momentum behind it, “Once” ($827,501) also upticked, while the Roundabout Theater Company revival of “Harvey” ($491,643) gained a bit of steam, driven by the TV profile of topliner Jim Parsons. Six shows managed to top the $1 million mark, including “Salesman,” once again joining the millionaires’ club despite a shortened playing sked of seven perfs vs. the traditional eight. While the usual suspects — “Wicked” ($1,802,133), “The Lion King” ($1,781,682) and “The Book of Mormon” ($1,604,455) — topped the list and fell only marginally, “Evita” ($1,360,168) and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,242,960) dropped by more than $200,000 apiece. Overall attendance slid to 257,495, or 73% of Broadway’s available seats. B.O. slid $2.4 million to $24.2 million for the 36 shows on the boards. The 22 musicals grossed $18,230,249 for 75.5% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 186,287 and an average paid admission of $97.86. The 14 plays grossed $5,926,983 for 24.5% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 71,208 and an average paid admission of $83.23.