Will “Hello, Dolly!” keep going up, up and up this holiday season? It looks poised to, with the ultra-hot revival moving into the final weeks of Tony-winning star Bette Midler’s run and the holidays bringing tourists to the city. Last week, most individual shows declined at the Broadway box office compared to the boffo numbers from Thanksgiving week, but “Dolly!,” energized by what is likely the beginning of a frenzy to catch Bette before she goes, managed to uptick.
“Hello, Dolly!” ($2,478,968) once again broke the house record at the Shubert Theater, a feat the show seems likely to repeat more than once as demand heats up prior to Midler’s Jan. 14 exit. The musical was among the small group of shows to rise week-over-week after the Turkey Day boom, including “Beautiful” ($1,006,732), bumping up nicely to rejoin the millionaires’ club, as well as “M. Butterfly” ($409,943), up a bit after star Clive Owen was out for a few performances the prior week.
Other than that, almost every single show on the boards declined. Because Thanksgiving sales were so inflated, some of the Street’s hottest tickets — “Hamilton” ($2,837,331), “The Lion King” ($2,087,845), “Wicked” ($1,825,028) and “Aladdin” ($1,466,570) — were down by more than half a million apiece (but still doing just fine, thank you). “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” ($846,298) also tumbled, but should continue to attract family audiences over the holiday weeks and then bring in heightened last-minute sales before it closes Jan. 14.
Also contributing to the overall drop at the box office last week was the fact that Bruce Springsteen took a break, so “Springsteen on Broadway” didn’t add any coin to the pot. The mega-selling production picks up again this week.
Two plays opened — “Meteor Shower” ($870,728) starring Amy Schumer and “The Parisian Woman” ($689,134) with Uma Thurman — so they probably would have declined anyway, even if it weren’t the week after Thanksgiving. Another play, Manhattan Theater Club’s staging of “The Children” ($193,707 for seven previews), started up slowly.
Among the fall’s newest offerings, “The Band’s Visit” ($1,092,929) dipped by $200,000 but still topped $1 million, while “SpongeBob SquarePants” ($583,037) hosted critics before the show opens tonight. “Once On This Island” ($395,580) proved modest in its opening week, but can expect to gain steam following the critical raves lavished on the show after its Dec. 4 opening.
Overall Broadway sales slowed by $9.1 million to $30 million — a 23% drop — for 30 shows now playing. Attendance fell 22,420 to 242,528.