It’s official: The Boss is a Broadway blockbuster.
“Springsteen on Broadway” ($2,332,108) exploded out of the gate with a huge first week, easily topping $2 million for just five performances in a venue that seats fewer than 1,000 people. The average price paid per tickets? Nearly $500.
That’s not going to quell any of the concerns of those in the theater industry worried about skyrocketing ticket prices. But at the very least the show, which looks poised to be a mega-earner at the Broadway box office for the duration of its run, is turning a new spotlight on the theater district, and bringing in Bruce Springsteen fans who might not otherwise have thought to set foot in a legit theater. (Whether any of those concertgoers will be inspired by the experience to pick up tickets to other shows along the Street remains to be seen.)
The huge numbers for “Springsteen on Broadway” landed the production in the No. 3 slot in the week’s Top 10, right behind “Hamilton” ($2,928,486) and “Hello, Dolly!” ($2,346,835), which, benefiting from sky-high demand to see Bette Midler, topped itself once again to break the all-time record for a single week at a Shubert Organization theater.
The Springsteen show was one of four productions to start previews last week. “M. Butterfly” ($199,627 for two previews), directed by Julie Taymor and starring Clive Owen, earned a solid number for a play, and musical “The Band’s Visit” ($134,679), spurred by awards and rave reviews from its Off Broadway run, logged promisingly robust numbers for its first performance. Also joining the slate was the latest from Ayad Akhtar, “Junk” ($238,130 for four previews), while, in its last week, “1984” ($490,658) got a big boost on its way out.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” ($842,320), which had taken a notable tumble in recent weeks, surged upward thanks to an influx of tourism traffic over the long Columbus Day weekend. Also reporting big gains were titles including “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,098,807), “Beautiful” ($1,006,950), “School of Rock” ($964,643), “Waitress” ($805,496) and “Miss Saigon” ($690,389), not to mention top-grossing shows like “Wicked” ($1,869,463) and “Aladdin” ($1,580,366).
Overall Broadway sales shot up by $7 million to $30.2 million for 29 shows on the boards. Attendance lifted by 37,000 to 235,683.