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B’Way’s skinny dip

Box office falls for week but still outpaces '99

Broadway box office fell under the $12 million mark for the first time in six months. Only five of the 23 shows now running improved their biz, with overall B.O. falling $298,862, or 2.4%, for a final count of $11,940,163. And yet, thanks to this busy summer, business continues to outpace 1999 — it’s up 18.5%.

The mid-August weekly tally a year ago came to a much less healthy $9,716,422.

“Kiss Me, Kate” experienced the biggest bounce, up $24,930 to close at $701,107 on its gross potential of $815,592. Four-figure upticks were registered by “Annie Get Your Gun” (up $6,930), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (up $5,655) and “The Music Man” (up $7,501), which continues to entertain a very high average price ticket of $70.95. Only “Contact,” with its $76.41 a.p.t., topped the Meredith Willson tuner.

How is that endangered species — the play — weathering the summer heat? “The Man Who Came to Dinner” rested at $270,562 on a gross potential of $349,943. “Copenhagen” marked time with a $1,646 negative blip to close at $248,534 on its gross potential of $457,151. Down $9,466, “Dirty Blonde” closed at $190,370 on a $279,775 g.p.

Some tuner tumbles

Otherwise, there were a few major tumbles with the musicals. They included “Jekyll & Hyde” (down $32,081), “Les Miserables (down $31,286), “The Phantom of the Opera” (down $50,604), “Rent” (down $37,309) and “Swing!” (down $44,466).

“The Lion King” continued as the only sold-out show, with “Aida” (99.70%) and “Contact” (99.29%) close behind.

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