Broadway sales slipped last week, but not by much, as tourism declined a bit in preparation for the deluge that traditionally hits the Main Stem over the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s. Still, a few shows held strong – among them a comicbook tuner on the last of its eight legs and a Shakespeare two-fer.
All those “Last chance!” ads for “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,054,823), which will shutter at the end of the year, seem to be working. The production was among the few titles to post gains over the prior week, regaining a foothold in the millionaires’ club (of which it used to be such a frequent member), and its attendance topped 105% of capacity (including standing room). That puts it in the same league as long-term megahit “The Book of Mormon” ($1,865,333), newer-minted Tony champ “Kinky Boots” ($1,768,672) and Daniel Craig’s limited-run juggernaut “Betrayal” ($1,284,344), all of which filled seats to 100% of capacity or above it.
In contrast, two other tuners set to shutter at year’s end, “Big Fish” ($503,315) and “First Date” ($355,595), have yet to get a pick-me-up and saw B.O. decline.
Also joining “Spider-Man” in the packed-house club was “Twelfth Night/Richard III” ($805,442), the Mark Rylance starrer that filled its houses (to, if you’re splitting hairs, 99.52% of capacity) last week and topped $800,000 despite selling nearly a quarter of its ticket inventory at $25 a pop as part of a push for pricing accessibility. It also saw receipts uptick last week, as did “Kinky Boots” and “No Man’s Land/Waiting for Godot” ($694,111), the latter of which regained some equilibrium following a post-opening sesh of accommodating second-night press tickets.
Otherwise, it was dips across the board, although no one show seemed to take a significant hit. Everything — from “Wicked” ($1,971,945) in the top spot to lone previewing show “Beautiful” ($771,883) down to “The Snow Geese” ($130,484 for its final seven perfs) — downshifted.
But there wasn’t much of an overall dent, with Broadway cume off $1.4 million to $26.6 million for 30 shows currently running. Total attendance was down more than 10,000 to 242,849, but still came in at a solid 85% of total capacity.
Producers this week will look forward now to what is likely to prove another frame of similarly drama-free ups-and-downs, ahead of the spike that hits every year during Christmas week.