Disney’s Broadway staging of “Newsies” seems to be reaping the rewards of its rabid fanbase, with its imminent Aug. 24 closing adding sales momentum to weekly box office figures that had begun to taper earlier this year.
“Newsies” — which surprised even Disney Theatrical with the overwhelmingly positive reception it earned from audiences and critics — has seen box office rise consistently over the past month and last week hit $919,050, its best showing since a nine-performance frame in mid-April. Numbers look likely to remain elevated in the countdown to closing.
Two more musicals, “Rocky” and “Bullets Over Broadway,” also are set to close later this month, but haven’t drawn the same kind of last-minute crowds. “Rocky” ($767,519), never as strong an earner as “Newsies” has been, has stepped up consistently over the last month but not to the same notable degree as “Newsies,” while last week “Bullets” ($641,157) actually slipped a bit. “Rocky” shutters Aug. 17 and “Bullets,” like “Newsies,” exits Aug. 24.
Last week proved a relatively steady one for Broadway overall, with few notable ups or downs — save for the big bumps that both “The Lion King” ($2,559,076) and “Wicked” ($2,181,109) logged from playing nine-performance weeks, which some of Broadway’s most popular shows have begun to schedule more regularly in order to take advantage of summer tourism.
Rounding out Disney’s strong week was “Aladdin” ($1,570,266), hitting its best tally so far and maintaining a spot in a millionaires’ club that numbered eleven productions including new outings like “Beautiful” ($1,308,762) and old favorites such as “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,149,037). This year’s Tony fave, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” ($950,133), played to capacity crowds.
Among other shows, “Cinderella” ($785,390) downticked a bit, but is looking to stay strong this fall with the just-announced cast addition of Keke Palmer. Meanwhile, the Roundabout Theater Company’s staging of “Violet” upticked slightly in its second-to-last frame.
The Broadway cume came in at $26.4 million for 26 shows on the boards. Attendance downshifted, barely, to 241,795 or 92% of overall capacity, while average price paid per ticket, a reliable indicator of overall demand for a Broadway seat, rang up to $109.15, about on par with the prior week.
It’s not only this month’s closing shows but all of Broadway that can looking forward to riding out the month on summer tourist biz, before the distractions of the back-to-school weeks will cause the Street’s annual box office slowdown.