Like Americans across the land, Broadway found itself stuffed extra-full this Thanksgiving — with dollar bills, that is — as it grossed the second-largest amount in its history. The Way grabbed a gut-busting $13,943,811 in grosses from 293,534 theatergoers.
“I’m delighted. The image of New York has shifted from being a notorious place to visit to a destination for families and tourists throughout the United States and the world, really,” said Gerald Schoenfeld, topman at the Shubert Theater chain.
The till’s total was second only to the record set during the week of New Year’s Day 1998, from Dec. 29 through Jan. 4, which set the high water mark at $15,776,122, with attendance of 282,380.
Only two shows — newcomers both — dipped downward: The soon-to-shutter Matthew Bourne hoofer “Swan Lake” slipped some at the Neil Simon, dropping $29,393 to take $419,135, and “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” fell $19,816 to take $223,902.
The largest gains came at the predictable old warhorses, such as “Cats,” up a whopping $220,798 to take $539,119. Also making massive gains were “Les Miserables,” up $198,012 and grossing $618,223; “The Phantom of the Opera,” soaring by $186,781; and the helicopter-powered “Miss Saigon,” which elevated by $180,900 to take $610,606.
And winning the unique fixer-upper award was “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” newly revamped by Cablevision Systems Corp., which had one of its best grosses to date: $532,902, up a substantial $105,688.
Other major windfalls occurred at “The Sound of Music,” which had been flagging in recent weeks, now surging ahead by $157,591 to take $646,051, and at “Footloose,” which executed a $143,269 leap to gross $600,915.
Last week’s grosses represented an increase over last year’s Thanksgiving haul, $12,521,449, by 11.4%.