Broadway Box Office: ‘Sunday in the Park’ Begins Upward Trajectory

Sunday in the Park with George
Matthew Murphy

After last week’s spike from Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, the Broadway box office of several of the street’s biggest shows dipped — but those declines were balanced out by the additional coin brought in by new productions,  including “Come From Away” and “The Price,” as they ramped up their performance schedules. Still awaiting a major bump was the just-opened “Sunday in the Park With George” starring Jake Gyllenhaal — although given the rave reviews the show earned, a boost is likely on the way.

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Playing its first full week of eight performances (rather than seven during the previous frame), “Sunday in the Park” ($892,991) upticked in a week that accommodated a slew of press tickets and a heavily comped opening night. Look for that number to rise, since the reviews earned by the production proved so glowing they seem near-certain to spur higher demand at a show already benefiting from the appeal of a big-name film star on the marquee.

Meanwhile, “Come From Away” ($601,255 for seven previews) stepped up to seven performances and posted solid-enough numbers after a surprisingly strong initial showing, and the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price” ($544,177) played its first full week of eight performances, reporting relatively high grosses for a nonprofit production in a small house — thanks, no doubt, to Mark Rufalo in a lead role. (The title also got a nice publicity boost when Barack Obama and his daughter checked out the production last week.)

Other shows on the rise included “Sunset Boulevard” ($1,325,122), continuing to snowball in the wake of glowing reviews for star Glenn Close; two hot tickets from the fall, “Dear Evan Hansen” ($1,127,500) and “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” ($1,090,356); and “Hamilton” ($3,133,415), breaking the $3 million barrier once again thanks to the hefty price tag for premium tickets.

At the same time, tourist-driven sales at some of Broadway’s big-name attractions slipped, driving numbers down at shows such as “Paramour” ($878,720), “Cats” ($747,218), “On Your Feet!” ($667,098) and “Chicago” ($571,034). All those individual ups and downs added up to a steady cumulative box office tally, with the week’s $25.4 million in sales (for 26 shows) coming in on par with the previous week’s total. Attendance upticked slightly to 225,366, or nearly 90% of the overall capacity.

As the spring season continues to gain momentum, two more shows are on the way this week: “Miss Saigon,” back for the first time since the original Broadway staging that closed in 2001, and “Sweat,” the Lynn Nottage play transferring to Broadway after a successful run at the Public Theater. Also this week, new play “Significant Other” ($228,247) opens while Sally Field’s Broadway return, “The Glass Menagerie” ($415,747), heads toward an opening the following week.

 

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