Rialto cume about on par with the prior week, but Lynch's absence prompts fall at 'Annie'
“Glee” star Lynch, who played the villainous Miss Hannigan in the revival, began her run in mid-May and helped keep the show in the millionaires’ club for the second month of her eight-week engagement. But she exited July 14, prompting sales to sink $175,000 last week to $956,255.
That tally is still nothing to sneeze at, but the drop still stands out in a frame that saw the majority of productions rise to one degree or another.
“The Book of Mormon” ($1,749,550) was down by about the same amount as “Annie,” and “Wicked” ($1,907,228) was off by about $80,000. But that’s because both those sales juggernauts had played nine perfs the prior sesh, both of them serving as recent examples of a trend that has seen legit producers aim to exploit tourist-boosted seasonal demand by skedding an extra show during select summer weeks.
Last week it was “The Lion King” ($2,316,189) that played nine shows, and the extra perf drove weekly receipts up $245,000 and pushed the musical to the number one spot on the Top 10.
Also among the handful of shows to post a decline last week was “First Date” ($350,122) in its second week on the boards. One big contributing factor was likely the fact that the tuner’s biggest name star, Zachary Levi, was out for the week due to a Comic-Con commitment; otherwise the small-scale musical seems to be making a decent start in its early weeks, given the challenges of a new title with no brand recognition wading into a summer season largely dominated by longrunning icons such as “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,147,544) or recent Tony winners like “Kinky Boots” ($1,604,272) and “Pippin” ($1,037,961).
The smattering of other declines were negligible. Helping to counteract them were the upswings at shows including “Forever Tango” ($430,325), which picked up $125,000 worth of momentum in its second week, and “Cinderella” ($1,135,743), climbing around $70,000.
A couple of new additions to the Main Stem also added coin to the pot, including Beatles tribute “Let It Be” ($399,319) and “Soul Doctor” ($109,750 for five previews). The latter is a new musical that seems to have its work cut out for it in carving out a profile among the Street’s more established names.
Overall Rialto cume was on par with the previous week, ringing in at $23.6 million for 25 shows on the boards. With summer tourism continuing to pack Gotham, attendance rose a bit to 225,234.
Based on past summers, the next few weeks will likely be the last ones for the hot-weather sales boom. In mid-August B.O. usually begins to slip in advance of Labor Day, after which comes the back-to-school slump that traditionally hits the Rialto every September.