Autumn bounty came to Broadway last week, with major sales and attendance bumps logged at most shows on the boards and no fewer than four titles topping an impressive $1.8 million each.
The Main Stem traditionally begins to shake off the September doldrums around now, as new shows join the slate and overall activity begins to pick up; last week the long Columbus Day weekend also encouraged a spike in tourism.
Eight shows broke the $1 million mark last week, with “The Lion King” ($1,885,054) edging ahead of “Wicked” ($1,874,654) at the top of the chart. “The Book of Mormon” ($1,844,539) broke its own record at the Eugene O’Neill Theater for the umpteenth time, and last season’s Tony fave “Kinky Boots” ($1,810,202) also outdid itself.
Newest addition to the millionaires’ club, Daniel Craig-Rachel Weisz starrer “Betrayal” ($1,112,027 for seven previews), broke the house record the production set the prior week, muscling up to come in behind spring successes “Motown” ($1,488,380) and “Matilda” ($1,430,085) and ahead of perennial tourist fave “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,023,947).
Among other fall openers, “Big Fish” ($856,110) looked encouragingly strong, posting its best-ever sales figure the week after it earned a mixed bag of reviews, including a prominent pan in the New York Times. Production’s challenge now will be to hold on to that momentum.
A slew of critical raves, meanwhile, helped push the current revival of “The Glass Menagerie” ($724,363), starring Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto, to top itself. “A Night With Janis Joplin” ($353,070) also rose despite accommodating press perfs and its comp-heavy opening night.
Perhaps the strongest marker that the out-of-towners had returned to the Street came from the longrunning tuners that often act as tourism barometers, with “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($956,929) at last reversing a month of notably low sales. Shows that are strong draws for younger theatergoers and family auds — including “Newsies” ($843,620), “Cinderella” ($842,893) and “Annie” ($735,228) — also climbed considerably.
With “Betrayal” attracting all the attention among previewing shows, John Grisham adaptation “A Time to Kill” ($278,494) built only a bit compared to the prior sesh while nonprofit outings “The Snow Geese” ($236,863) and “The Winslow Boy” ($199,512) came in farther down the chart.
A couple of shows closed last week, with “The Trip to Bountiful” ($317,826 for three perfs) pulling in robust sales for a shortened week and “Soul Doctor” ($128,256) barely benefiting from last-minute sales in its final frame.
Overall Broadway cume climbed by $3.2 million to $24.6 million for 28 shows on the boards. Attendance swelled by more than 17,000 to 232,400 (or 90% of total capacity).
Two shows may have exited the boards last week, but more are on the way, starting with the Mark Rylance-toplined double-bill of “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III.” Those additions will continue to add coin to the pot in the coming weeks.