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B’Way B.O. takes small step north

'Jekyll,' 'Kate' show improvement while 'West,' 'Mason' shutter

Up a little, down a little: most of Broadway’s 26 shows registered minuscule movement in either direction, with 15 improving marginally. Overall B.O. was up a mere 0.1%, making for a $12,713,024 finish. End of July 1999, the week’s total stood at a far less grand $9,969,695.

Since Fourth of July week, B.O. has climbed this summer, but that good news will end in August with “True West” and “Jackie Mason” out of the picture. Both productions closed Sunday, with the comic turning in the week’s highest uptick, $20,953. “Mason” closed for the week at $161,105. Sam Shepard’s “West” came up with the biggest drop, $25,685, as it went from seven performances to four in its final week.

Everybody else was somewhere in between.

Only five other shows produced five-digit improvements: “Jekyll & Hyde” (up $17,789), “Kiss Me, Kate” (up $16,710), “Miss Saigon” (up $14,129) and “Rent” (up $18,449). Also in the plus category, “The Real Thing” gained $19,705 in its third-to-last week of performances. It closed at $312,195 — its highest finish to date.

In addition to “True West,” a few others showed five-digit declines: They were “Copenhagen” (a $11,002 decline), “Les Miserables” (down $10,611), “The Music Man” ($18,414 drop), “Riverdance” (down $21,969) and “Swing!” ($22,904 decline). With the exception of “True West,” all of these productions have seen better, as well as worse, weeks at the box office.

As far as capacity is concerned, top performers continued to be “Aida” (99.88%), “Contact” (99.74%), “The Lion King” (101.28%) and “Kiss Me, Kate” (97.52%).

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