Tourists, Tonys tickle Broadway box office

Sales take a quarter million hop

Broadway took a quarter-million-dollar hop last week, and producers say it’s due to a mix of tourist inflow and Tony nominations.

“The tourists are starting to make their way into town, God bless them,” said Jeffery Sellers, a producer of “Rent.”

For shows like “Rent,” and “The Lion King,” with their swollen reserves of advance ticket sales, the tourist tide is less a factor. But for other freshman musicals, it’s a welcome and much-needed blitz.

“The Scarlet Pimpernel,” nominated for Best Musical, revved $44,576 higher, to take $374,756 — but it still was making less than half of its gross potential of $832,827. “The Sound of Music” upped its take to $527,704, gaining $43,930 over the previous week. And “1776” jumped $15,163 to gross $287,177 out of a possible $869,277.

“High Society,” overlooked by the Tonys, last week managed a good-sized $20,830 increase over the previous week, taking $456,296 of a possible $747,513.

New straight plays, like “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” and “new” revivals like “A View From the Bridge,” seem to be benefiting from their Tony nominations, doing brisk business.

“Art,” a Best Play contender, broke the Royale Theater’s house record (which it had itself set only a few weeks back) with a total take of $429,038, $15,749 better than the previous week. “Queen” skipped upward $8,643 to take $325,426 of possible $382,019. “Bridge,” a possible Best Revival candidate, looked out on a $18,704 increase over the previous week, grossing $191,718 of a potential $469,066.

Laboring without a Best Play nomination, “Honour,” (which did net two Tony nominations for its actresses, Jane Alexander and Enid Graham) managed a $17,593 bump to take $99,511. The producers steadfastly maintain they aren’t closing, but the take is still only about a fourth of its potential of $396,527.