‘Salesman’ knows how to close

Play's grosses spike on news of June 2 finish

Even in the era of premium-priced seating, a non-musical with weekly sales topping the $1 million mark is a rarity. It’s even rarer when the show does it with just seven perfs in a week, rather than the usual eight.

But the strong-selling revival of “Death of a Salesman” ($1,014,413 for seven perfs), toplined by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield, turned the trick for the first time in Week 52. The feat is attributable more to the well-received production’s June 2 closing than to any uptick in traffic associated with the long Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day, after all, isn’t a slam-dunk for the Broadway box office, with the holiday’s traditional outdoor activities among factors drawing potential auds away from the Rialto. Overall attendance was down about 10,000 to 284,784 (or 81% of overall Rialto capacity) for the week.

Still, the White Way’s highest-profile shows benefitted from their strong brands to post sales bumps. Last season’s juggernaut “The Book of Mormon” ($1,609,478) broke yet another house record at the Eugene O’Neill, and in the latest round of pole-position jostling, “Wicked” ($1,896,633) nudged “The Lion King” ($1,809,051) out of the No. 1 slot in the Top 10. “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,506,692) climbed notably, as did longer-running tourist faves “The Phantom of the Opera” ($991,815) and “Mary Poppins” ($878,715).

The only show in previews, Jim Parsons topliner “Harvey” ($470,267), played its first full week of previews, reporting a solid tally for a nonprofit play.

The Broadway cume slipped to $26.6 million for the 36 shows on the boards.

The 22 musicals grossed $20,157,577 for 75.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 205,577 and an average paid admission of $98.05.

The 14 plays grossed $6,430,828 for 24.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 79,207 and an average paid admission of $81.19.

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