Broadway ‘Matilda’ Battles ‘Cinderella,’ ‘Annie’

Broadway 'Matilda' Battles 'Cinderella,' 'Annie'

'Lucky Guy' starring Tom Hanks earns $1.1 million in a upswing week for Rialto B.O.

“Lucky Guy,” the Tom Hanks starrer that recently began perfs on Broadway, pulled in more than $1 million from just seven perfs last week — but if you’re looking for a title bout in the Rialto B.O. frame that ended March 10, it’s in the potential Mexican standoff between this season’s little-girl magnets, “Cinderella,” “Annie” and “Matilda.”

After a drop the prior sesh precipitated by the show’s press previews and opening night, “Cinderella” ($1,109,158) jumped back up above the $1 million mark, fueled by the strength of the title, affection for the Rodgers and Hammerstein score and the media attention from the show’s opening, which yielded a mixed bag of reviews. Meanwhile, “Matilda” ($634,789 and 96% capacity auds for six previews), the much-lauded Brit hit based on the Roald Dahl tale, debuted with a notably robust tally for a new musical with a title that, in terms of name recognition among American auds, doesn’t hold a candle to “Cinderella” or “Annie.”

It’s hard to say for certain whether the strength of those two shows is directly responsible for the 12% drop at “Annie” ($790,117), which goes after the same all-ages, female-skewing demo. But it’s certainly something to watch out for as the season shapes up, especially with “Matilda” hoping to land the same kind of critical raves Stateside that the tuner scored in Blighty.

“Annie” was one of only a few productions to decline last week in a frame that saw B.O. pick up as the season’s spring offerings continued to start their engines.

“Lucky Guy” ($1,109,678 for seven previews), in which Hanks plays journo Mike McAlary in Nora Ephron’s play, was a first-timer in the Rialto millionaires’ club. Given the show’s grosses from three perfs the previous week, its big-money frame doesn’t come as much of a surprise, and the show seems poised to continue to post similarly boffo numbers throughout Hanks’ limited engagement in the play.

Like “Matilda,” “Kinky Boots” ($637,690 for seven) also logged solid sales for a new musical based on a lesser-know property. The new play version of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” ($349,270 for seven) played to 81% capacity in its first week on the boards, while the commercial Rialto transfer of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” ($305,840) played to 89%.

New musical “Hands on a Hardbody” ($170,194) found itself facing an uphill road, with numbers slipping a bit following the prior sesh’s modest debut.

Overall Broadway attendance was only up about 4,500 to 196,604, but sales were up $1.1 million to $18.1 million for 23 shows currently running. The rise is particularly notable given the fact that the previous frame benefited from final-week spikes for “Mary Poppins” and “Manilow on Broadway.”

Total Rialto cume seems likely to keep growing in the coming weeks, as more titles jump into the ring and academic spring breaks bring more tourist biz to the boards.

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  1. Drew Nichols says:

    Useful article but the abbreviations like “journo,” “demo” and “auds” were annoying, even to a 23 year old.

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