The New York theater industry already knew the weekend’s blizzard — and the two-performance shutdown it prompted — was going to be rough at the Broadway box office. Now we know just how rough: All that snow smacked sales down by more $10 million, compared to the box office totals from the previous week.
To be fair, sales would have almost certainly diminished week-to-week even without a snowstorm, since the previous week’s tally was inflated by the uptick in traffic brought about by the long weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The annual two-for-one ticket initiative called Broadway Week, which started Jan. 19, also exerted a downward pull on sales figures.
But when Broadway’s two Saturday performances were cancelled at the last minute Jan. 23, the Street lost what is usually its most profitable day of the week. That left most productions playing six performances for the week rather than the usual eight.
The cumulative tally for 31 shows for the week ending Jan. 24 came in at $15.98 million, representing a drop of $10.26 million compared to the previous week. Attendance plummeted by 83,000 to 174,717, or 77% of Broadway’s overall seating capacity for the week. Most individual titles were down by hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.
That falloff didn’t really faze ultrahot “Hamilton” ($1,304,793), which still packed in crowds and commanded a superhigh average price paid per ticket of almost $162. “Hamilton” topped the week’s chart, ahead of “The Lion King” ($1,063,040), “Wicked” ($983,150) and “The Book of Mormon” ($968,563). Among new shows, “On Your Feet!” ($732,366) and the new revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” ($657,219) also held onto spots in the Top 10.
Among the week’s comings and goings, the weather nixed two of the final performances of “Spring Awakening” ($545,145), which played its last Jan. 24, and threw off the first preview of “The Humans” ($32,574 for one), which played only one preview on Sunday afternoon.
On the upside, producers can count on improvement this week: As of Tuesday evening, the weekend’s forecast looked entirely clear.