Broadway Box Office: Rookies Rock the Rialto

Broadway B.O.: Rookies 'Les Miz,' 'Raisin

Newcomers poured new coin into the Broadway coffers last week as previewing titles “Les Miserables,” “A Raisin in the Sun” “If/Then” and “Bullets Over Broadway” helped push the Street’s overall cume up by more than $3 million.

Thanks to its long original run and the publicity boost of the 2012 movie adaptation, “Les Miz” ($1,043,262 for seven previews) arrived on the Main Stem having already established itself as an enduring tourist fave. That helps explain sales so strong they landed the show in the millionaires’ club with a week of just seven performances rather than the full eight.

Both “Raisin” and “If/Then” also played seven previews apiece. Powered by topliner Denzel Washington and the well-known title of the Lorraine Hansberry classic, “Raisin” ($981,488) swiftly established itself as the strongest-selling play title on the boards and hit an average price paid per ticket — a reliable indicator of consumer demand — of $134, the second-highest on the Street after “The Book of Mormon.” “If/Then” ($929,267), meanwhile, built on the momentum of its robust first week and of star Idina Menzel’s fresh “Frozen” fame.

“Bullets Over Broadway” ($655,710 for six) proved it also has a shot at success, opening fire with a healthy tally for a short week of six perfs. With a strong cast that includes Toni Collette and Michael C. Hall but an unfamiliar title, Will Eno play “The Realistic Jones” ($253,222 for four previews) started unsurprisingly slow, but in its third week of previews, “Aladdin” ($893,595 for seven) continued to build a head of steam prior to its March 20 opening.

Having just opened last week, it’s too soon to tell how “Rocky” ($639,757) will be affected by reviews that were largely upbeat save for a couple of high-profile pans. In a promising sign, B.O. was up a bit compared to the prior frame despite accommodating the opening night perf and a batch of heavily comped press previews.

Another recently opened outing, “All the Way” ($887,748), also stepped up after earning good press for its lead perf by Bryan Cranston, but “The Bridges of Madison County” ($476,374) — a well-known property that seems as if it could have done well with tourists — didn’t benefit from the out-of-towners, logging sales about on par with the prior sesh.

Besides all the new additions to the Broadway boards last week, Rialto cume further gained ground thanks to spring break tourism that boosted attendance by more than 25,000 to 249,436. With sizable jumps at big-name tourist magnets ranging from “Wicked” ($1,861,649) and “The Lion King” ($1,733,679) to “Cinderella” ($910,028), overall sales climbed $3.2 million to $24.5 million for 30 shows now playing.

The largest dropoff on the chart was posted at “After Midnight” ($381,020), suffering after the exit of guest star k.d. lang the previous frame but likely to rise again when its newest guests, Toni Braxton and Babyface Edmonds, step into the show this week. One show, “Outside Mullingar” ($423,934), exited the boards last week and posted a solid rise in last-minute biz.

Given academia’s staggered spring break skeds, Broadway’s tourist-powered momentum should continue into this week as James Franco starrer “Of Mice and Men” and Tony Shalhoub topliner “Act One” jump into the fray.

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  1. ThomT says:

    No mention of the Tyne Daly headlined “Mothers & Sons” or Sutton Foster’s “Violet” both anticipated Spring openers.

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