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Broadway Box Office: Sales Dip After Memorial Day Boom, but ‘Rotten’ Rises

Broadway box office slowed ahead of the Tony Awards ceremony this Sunday, but that’s only to be expected the week after the tourism-powered Memorial Day frame. And even amidst the general decline, a few shows, including Tony nominee “Something Rotten!,” managed to rise thanks to the awards-season attention.

Nominated for 10 Tonys including the top title for new musical, “Something Rotten!” ($1,100,399) posted the highest gain of the week — which only amounted to about $35,000 in last week’s downward trend. The nominated revival of  “The King and I” ($1,095,371) also climbed a bit, while 12-time nominee “Fun Home” ($628,970) held steady, as did Larry David starrer “Fish in the Dark” ($1,216,518) in its second-to-last week with David in the lead role.

Otherwise, it was mostly dips at individual productions in a week that saw attendance drop 20,000 to 265,125, or 84% of overall Broadway capacity. Many of the newer musicals on the boards, such as nominee “An American in Paris” ($1,339,416) and “Finding Neverland” ($1,048,475), managed to keep the declines relatively minor.

Some older musicals that are among the Street’s bigger tourist-magnets, such as “Beautiful” ($909,618) and “Les Miserables” ($611,524), lost the most momentum last week. But not “The Lion King” ($2,026,910), which still managed to come in above the $2 million mark.

Meanwhile, new musical nominee “The Visit” ($149,023) continued to struggle, while revival “On the Town” ($512,816) fell off some 20% and two-play marathon “Wolf Hall” ($548,136) continued to see both sales and attendance decline. Play “Hand to God” ($406,784) held up better, relatively, although it still could benefit from the pick-me-up of a Tony win.

The one show to open last week, Jim Parsons vehicle “An Act of God” ($693,379), dipped a bit due to critics’ performances and a heavily-comped opening night, but still looked plenty healthy. The recently recouped “Skylight” ($782,580) also was among the plays to remain strong.

Overall Broadway sales slid $2.4 million to $26.9 million for 33 shows on the boards. This week, producers will be holding their breaths to see how the Tony Awards play out — and, in the coming summer months, how award wins will shift sales.

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