What snow? Broadway B.O. defied the weather last week with the help of Valentine's Day and President's Day
Bryan Cranston showed some presidential power at the Broadway box office last week, as his toplining stint in LBJ historical drama “All the Way” posted sales strong enough to land the title in the top 10 in the play’s first week on the boards.
The haul for “All the Way” ($770,789) weren’t in the same class as the powerhouse sales reported by recent outings from Hollywood draws such as Daniel Craig (“Betrayal”) and Tom Hanks (“Lucky Guy”), but it’s still a healthy start for an unknown title. “All the Way” was also helped into the top 10 by a winter week in which some of the Main Stem’s stalwarts, such as “The Phantom of the Opera” ($766,994), logged lower numbers than they likely would have in a frame more flush with tourists.
Also adding new coin to last week’s cume were the first performances of “Rocky” ($373,672 for three previews), punching in solid numbers especially given the fact that the musical ended up playing its first preview at the tail end of the Feb. 13 storm that hit the area.
In fact, the weather in general didn’t seem to faze Broadway much last week. Thursday’s icy onslaught was followed by more snow on Saturday, but legit sales still stepped up significantly thanks to the back-to-back boosts of Valentine’s Day date-night biz and the long-weekend uptick in attendance.
Almost every single individual production got an upward bump, with some of the biggest leaps taken by the Rialto’s enduring juggernauts including “Wicked” ($1,803,846), “The Book of Mormon” ($1,705,114) and “The Lion King” ($1,570,787). Newer attraction “Kinky Boots” ($1,431,140) shifted its playing sked to maximize the holiday-weekend biz, dropping both Wednesday perfs in favor of a Monday night and a Sunday night curtain, and had some additional revenue to show for it.
“Cinderella” ($896,903) did notably well too, with its new stars Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher helping to draw long-weekend theatergoers and post a tally that was 40% higher than the previous week’s receipts.
The snow didn’t stop two shows from breaking house records. The critical and popular hit “Twelfth Night”/”Richard III” ($944,755) went out strong with a best-ever tally at the Belasco Theater in its final week on the boards, while “Beautiful” ($901,903), powered by favorable reviews and the boomer-demo’s fondness for Carole King, set a new high-water mark at the Stephen Sondheim.
Overall Broadway sales climbed by more than $3 million to $21.2 million for 27 shows, while attendance rose 15,000 to 203,834, or about 83% of overall capacity. Average price paid per ticket jumped to almost $104, an indicator of high demand.
The coming week brings the opening of “The Bridges of Madison County” ($348,594), the new musical whose producers will be keeping their fingers crossed for the kind of rave reviews that can help kickstart sales.