Box office beats usual Broadway slump
Winter has been kind to Broadway this year.Sure, numbers for Week 37 (Feb. 6-12) may not wowed legiters, but for a mid-February frame, it wasn’t so bad. And measuring from the start of the calendar year, the current annum is well ahead of 2011 in terms of sales and attendance. According to numbers put together by the Broadway League, this year’s B.O. cume hit $112.3 million vs. the $87.6 million logged for the same weeks in 2011. Attendance reached 1.3 million, compared with the 1 million theatergoers who turned out during the same window last year. A number of factors contribute to the uptick, not least of which is the higher number of productions running this year than over the same six weeks in 2011. There are also Street-wide promotional deals, under the banners Broadway Week (which ended Feb. 4) and Kids’ Night on Broadway (Feb. 5-9); and on top of that, the winter so far has been unseasonably warm. The biggest news of the frame was possibly the 10,000th performance of “The Phantom of Opera” ($604,378) on Feb. 11. The week’s tally was down a bit from the prior sesh in part because half the inventory at that landmark perf was donated to an Actors’ Fund charity event. Overall sales climbed about $600,000 to $15.6 million. That’s higher than the $15.1 million posted during the same frame last year, but the week’s attendance of 177,602 was a bit below the 179,000 from 2011. The 17 musicals grossed $13,046,451 for 83.4% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 144,969 and an average paid admission of $89.99. The seven plays grossed $2,595,496 for 16.6% of the total, with attendance of 32,633 and an average paid admission of $79.54.