Jane Lynch Adds Box Office Interest

Broadway sales stay strong with a full ten titles to land in the week's millionaires' club

Spring sales on Broadway continued to bloom last week, with moderate rises at most shows punctuated by standout spikes including one at musical revival “Annie,” coinciding with the addition of “Glee” star Jane Lynch to the cast.

Of the three tuners to bow on Broadway this season with an obvious appeal to girl-centric all-ages auds, “Annie” ($842,272) has had the most ups and downs at the B.O. – although, to be fair, the fall opener has also been on the boards longer than spring offerings “Matilda” ($1,063,972) and “Cinderella” ($1,017,256). With Lynch jumping in last week to begin her limited run in the role of the villainous Miss Hannigan, attendance at “Annie” climbed by almost 2,000 to 10,854 for eight perfs in the 1,700-seat Palace Theater. Box office was up by close to $100,000.

In a mark that family-oriented tourists are beginning to return to Gotham, “Cinderella” also posted rises in B.O. and attendance about on par with “Annie.” “Matilda” grosses slipped slightly, but that could be due in part to the fact that last week Tony-nominated shows accommodated a number of kudo voters in town for the annual Broadway League road conference.

Another notable bump came at “Nice Work If You Can Get It” (up $115,296 to $760,202), perhaps gaining some last-minute sales prior to its June 15 closing, while Alec Baldwin topliner “Orphans” ($498,625) certainly benefitted from an imminent closing, rising almost $130,000 in the final week of what turned out to be a brief run.

Bette Midler starrer “I’ll Eat You Last” ($829,768) posted a decline, but only because it went back to a seven-perf week after it played eight the prior sesh. Even with one fewer show, its tally was still plenty impressive for a title in such a small venue.

“The Trip to Bountiful” ($469,185) slid by more than $90,000, possibly due to Tony voter accommodation or possibly as an initial sign of tapering demand; only the coming weeks will tell. But that show was one of the few to suffer a downturn last week, and certainly the only one to log notable slippage.

In general, the flurry of awards-season interest in the Rialto overall seems to be spurring business, as is often the case around this time of year. A total of ten shows each topped the $1 million mark, filling the Top 10 on the week’s sales chart.

Overall Broadway attendance inched up just a bit to 240,992, or almost 89% of total capacity. Total B.O. cume also upticked to hit $24.7 million for 28 shows on the boards.

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