Broadway threw a doozy of a holiday party this year, breaking house records up and down the Street and crowding the 2012 Christmas week’s millionaires’ club with a whopping 19 titles that grossed more than $1 million each.
Five of those shows topped the $2 million mark, with “Wicked” ($2,947,172) reasserting its supremacy and setting a new Broadway record while it was at it. An enduringly popular property plus one of the largest theaters on the Rialto added up to a tally that got within spitting distance of $3 million — an impressive showing for a tuner that’ll hit the 10-year mark later this year.
It was also helped by an additional ninth perf, which almost every one of this week’s millionaires added to the playing sked in order to maximize revenue during the tourist-heavy yuletide sesh.
“Wicked” reclaimed the all-time Rialto sales record from “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($2,716,990), which plays at a theater some 120 seats larger than the venue that’s home to “Wicked.” “The Lion King” ($2,666,616) took third, while ticket demand for “The Book of Mormon” ($2,158,595) — the still-hot smash in one of the Main Stem’s smaller houses — drove up the average price paid per ticket to almost $220.
The newbie of the top 10’s lead quintet was “Annie” ($2,054,848), the revival that opened in the fall and has since shown some hefty holiday drawing power fueled by its familiar, family-friendly title.
Behind “Annie” came the old timer “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,751,458), which logged its best week ever — an extraordinary feat for a musical that’s about to celebrate its 25th anniversary on Broadway.
Some shows that did not add extra perfs still managed to place in the top 10, including “A Christmas Story” ($1,558,922 in its final week), “Evita” ($1,548,991, twice what it made the prior sesh) and “Mary Poppins” ($1,487,252). One show, “Glengarry Glen Ross” ($1,228,867), played just seven perfs, but the stellar seller powered by Al Pacino’s starring gig continued to draw major crowds.
“Chicago” ($1,174,672) was up some 110% compared to the previous week, while both “War Horse” ($1,041,448 for eight) and “Bring It On” ($1,002,121, also for eight) benefitted from impending closings. (“Bring It On” closed Sunday, while “War Horse” shutters Jan. 6.) Play “Dead Accounts” ($327,803 for eight), on the other hand, hasn’t yet seen much of a boost in last-minute biz from the recent announcement of its Jan. 6 end date.
The newest addition to the boards, Scarlett Johansson topliner “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” ($966,948 for eight), continued to throw off plenty of heat, while “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($768,302 for eight) climbed 91%, suggesting the show may well have a good chance with Gotham visitors when the production shifts to Off Broadway later this spring.
Overall Broadway sales spiked by $11.6 million to $37.4 million for 31 shows on the boards. Attendance rose by some 50,000 to 292,432, filling houses to almost 90% of cumulative capacity.
In the wake of the holiday bounty, however, comes the traditional fallow period of January, when a number of shows throw in the towel rather than endure a cold, tourist-deprived winter. “Dead Accounts” and “War Horse” will be joined by “Chaplin” ($558,368 for eight) and “Grace” ($445,047), both also exiting Jan. 6 alongside holiday offering “Elf” ($1,267,397).