Broadway Box Office: Tony Showcase Begets Best-Ever Sales

Broadway Sales after Tony Awards 2015
Jenny Anderson

Anyone doubting the value of a performance segment on the Tony Awards telecast just needs to take a look at the Broadway grosses last week.

That was the week that encompassed the seven days immediately following the June 7 Tony broadcast on CBS, and over the course of it, the Broadway productions that hit new highs were the same ones that got a nationally televised showcase during the ceremony.

Fun Home” ($716,631), for instance, reached its best-yet tally after walking away with five awards, including the top trophy for new musical. Since it’s playing in one of Broadway’s smallest theaters, it’ll never post numbers to compete with larger-scale offerings, but it played to standing-room crowds all week and, with demand on the rise, looks poised to continue its upward swing.

Reporting one of the biggest gains of the week, “Something Rotten!” ($1,178,048) hit its new high after landing the Tony telecast’s coveted opening number — the one most likely to be seen by the most TV viewers. “An American in Paris” ($1,399,818) also beat its own record after performing on the awards broadcast, as did “Finding Neverland” ($1,172,903).

Another new high was logged at best play revival winner “Skylight” ($865,346), now heading into the final week of its limited engagement. Best play winner “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” ($885,114) rose as well.

These shows, of course, aren’t just benefiting from the Tony telecast alone, but from a month of awards-season hype that, following the Tony ceremony, should help fuel interest throughout the summer months when tourists flock to the city — and to Broadway. It helps, too, that the week in general was a good one, with hot-weather visitors driving up overall demand for tickets (as marked by the average price paid per ticket, which jumped more than $4 to $107.46).

Joining “American in Paris,” “Rotten” and “Neverland” in the week’s top 10 were two more Tony victors, “The Audience” ($1,171,220), for which Helen Mirren nabbed the award for lead actress, and “The King and I” ($1,109,198), which took three awards including musical revival. Those shows packed the Broadway chart right behind usual-suspect mega-earners “The Lion King” ($2,102,748), “Wicked” ($1,954,144), “Aladdin” ($1,592,508) and “The Book of Mormon” ($1,494,196).

Elsewhere on the Broadway chart, “Fish in the Dark” ($842,633) welcomed Jason Alexander for his first week in the comedy, and while the weekly gross didn’t achieve the million-plus altitude it had with Larry David in the lead role, it held up just fine. Meanwhile, Jim Parsons starrer “An Act of God” ($852,902) continued to look robust, but Tony nominee “Hand to God” ($389,264) slipped.

Overall Broadway sales climbed about $650,000 to $28.4 million for 31 shows on the boards. Attendance downticked, but just barely, to 264,166, in part because there were two fewer shows on the boards than there were the previous week.

There’s one more gone, as of Sunday: “The Visit” ($274,465), which closed June 14 after emerging from the Tonys empty-handed, and sales-challenged revival “Gigi” will shutter at the end of this week.

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