Broadway Box Office: ‘Harry Potter’ Conjures Massive First Week Sales

Harry Potter only just apparated onto Broadway, and he’s already making magic. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” played its first six previews and levitated all the way up to No. 6 on the sales chart.

Powered by the enduringly popular Potter brand, as well as the transatlantic buzz coming off the critically acclaimed and Olivier-winning London premiere of the show, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” rang in $1,541,957 for six previews — which, if those per-performance numbers keep up, would make for a $2 million week in an eight-performance frame. Last week, the two-part sequel to the “Harry Potter” books played to capacity crowds and racked up its million-and-a-half even with 300 tickets per performance priced at $40 or less per part.

“Cursed Child” isn’t the only new show to flex some early muscle at the box office. Sales magnet Denzel Washington helped the new revival of “The Iceman Cometh” get to $391,717 in just two preview performances (which played to full houses), while Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of “My Fair Lady” ($934,717) made a robust bow for a nonprofit production. The previewing musical adaptation of “Mean Girls” ($1,265,646 for seven) also continued strong, as did the new revival of “Carousel” ($1,075,699). Disney’s new hot-ticket “Frozen” ($1,442,796) managed to rise despite the fact that the production hosted a heavily comped opening night.

“Angels in America” ($549,003 for seven) also opened last week, and sales predictably went down due to press performances and its all-day March 25 opening, while the new revival of “Children of a Lesser God” ($247,123), starring Joshua Jackson and newcomer Lauren Ridloff, premiered to modest numbers.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was the largest-grossing play of the week by far, although there was also good news too for “Farinelli and the King” ($723,424), producers of which announced the show had recouped its capitalization costs just as the show played its final performances.

Overall, Broadway sales showed a lot of strength for a frame that encompassed a mid-week snowstorm that made visiting the city tricky for a day or two. Cumulative box office came to $35.4 million for 34 shows, with attendance up more than 25,000 to 292,873, or 91% of total capacity.

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