Broadway Box Office: Glenn Close, Jake Gyllenhaal Draw Crowds

Sunset Boulevard Broadway sales
Joan Marcus

Marquee names and musical revivals made waves at the Broadway box office last week, with Glenn Close raking in a hefty tally in the opening week of “Sunset Boulevard” and Jake Gyllenhaal making a promising bow with the first preview of “Sunday in the Park With George.”

“Sunset Boulevard” ($1,142,254) topped the $1 million mark in a seven-performance week that included its heavily comped press night and its opening. That sets “Sunset” up nicely just as the reviews — mostly raves — stand poised to move the needle further. With a limited run of just 16 weeks and only seven shows a week, the production will need to make as much money as it can, as quickly as possible, in order to turn a profit.

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Another limited-run musical revival, “Sunday in the Park With George” ($136,384 for one preview), made a strong showing in its first performance, especially for a production in a house with less than 1,000 seats. Those initial sales might have been partially driven by fan interest, which is always high for first performances. But the last time Gyllenhaal was on Broadway (in Manhattan Theater Club’s “Constellations” in 2015) he proved a major draw, so the production seemingly stands a chance of keeping up those kinds of numbers.

Sally Field also made her Broadway return last week, starring in “The Glass Menagerie” ($312,736 for five) alongside Joe Mantello and Finn Wittrock. Those modest numbers seem about right for a show that’s co-produced with Lincoln Center Theater, the nonprofit that offers lower ticket prices to members. It also remains to be seen how many of Broadway’s playgoers will want to turn out for a play they saw relatively recently (in the much-lauded 2013 revival), although the new production’s casting could well counteract any title fatigue.

Overall Broadway sales held steady, with cumulative box office ringing in at $19.8 million for 23 shows now playing. Attendance, which totaled 177,044 or about 80% of the Street’s overall capacity, was also about on par with the prior week.

Settling into its new pricing, “Hamilton” ($2,903,693) downshifted by $300,000 but still easily outpaced every other show, including “The Lion King” ($1,553,274), “Wicked” ($1,306,187) and “The Book of Mormon” ($1,264,107). “Dear Evan Hansen” ($1,148,495) upticked, with the fall season’s other strong seller, “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” ($961,038), holding about even with the previous week.

The spring slate will continue to expand in the coming week, with “The Price” starring Mark Rufalo kicking off Feb. 16 and under-the-radar musical “Come From Away” launching Feb. 18.

 

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