Broadway Box Office: On the Rebound with Valentines and Presidents

Broadway sales Presidents Day
Joan Marcus

After taking a bruising the previous week, the Broadway box office bounced back in a big way last week — thanks to valentines and presidents.

Valentine’s Day always bring a spike in date-night business, and this year the holiday coincided with the three-day weekend of Presidents’ Day. The rise in visitor traffic, fueled by the long weekend, combined with the influx of Valentine’s lovers to drive weekly sales up by $4.7 million to $25.7 million for 31 shows now playing. Attendance increased by close to 30,000 to 254,659 (or 83% of Broadway’s overall seating capacity for the week).’Those tallies mark a robust recovery from the prior week, when the distractions of the Super Bowl knocked Broadway down several notches. In addition, attendance last week, at least at all-ages musicals, was likely bolstered further by Kids Night on Broadway, the annual two-for-one ticket initiative for child-guardian pairs.

At large-scale, family-friendly titles, rises of $250,000 each weren’t uncommon. “Wicked” ($1,695,453), “Aladdin” ($1,493,306), “School of Rock” ($999,098), “Les Miserables” ($871,423), “Finding Neverland” ($841,122) and “Matilda” ($837,763) were each a quarter of a million dollars richer than they were the week before. Those were just biggest gains in a week that saw the majority of titles bulk up, with ultrahot “Hamilton” ($1,792,099) once again claiming the top spot on the top 10.

Also adding to the cumulative tally were two new shows that began previews. Disaster-movie spoof “Disaster!” ($364,575) did fairly well for an under-the-radar musical with little advance publicity, and “Hughie” ($330,298 for seven previews), the Eugene O’Neill revival starring Forest Whitaker, filled the intimate Booth Theater to 96% capacity. Among other previewing productions, “The Humans” ($224,521) is due for a boost from the strong reviews the show will likely earn after it opens Feb. 18, while “Blackbird” ($439,753 for seven), attracting attention thanks to stars Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams, picked up some steam.

Meanwhile, two shows made their exit last week: “Misery” ($784,206), the Bruce Willis outing that had its fair share of strong weeks but never quite turned into a hot ticket, and “Allegiance” ($583,133), which shuttered after struggling with modest sales since it opened in the fall.

Last week’s Broadway boom, alas, will probably prove short-lived. Traditionally, the weeks immediately following Presidents’ Day go fairly fallow — at least until spring break season rolls around in March.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading