B’way comes in like a lion

Early March brings 19% B.O. boost

With last week’s total receipts at $13,117,390, Broadway registered a boffo 19% increase over early March 2001. Attendance was up 7% from last year, with 219,577 the final figure this time out.

Of the 29 productions now running, 22 improved over the previous session’s numbers; only five shows were down. (“Fortune’s Fool” and “Smell of the Kill” began previews.) Overall, receipts rose $913,904, up 7.49% from the previous session.

Those few declines were minor, with mere four-figure downticks for “Elaine Stritch at Liberty,” “The Lion King,” “The Producers” and “QED.”

“Urinetown” took a bigger hit, falling $23,467 to land at $239,337. Although its average price ticket remained an enviable $75.19, capacity hovered at only 63.1%.

On the plus side, “Aida” and “42nd Street” registered the biggest gains, up $91,857 and $69,941, respectively.

“One Mo’ Time” and “The Crucible” put in split weeks of regular perfs, opening night and press previews, meaning lots of comped seats. The tuner grossed $113,729 on its potential of $328,892. The witch hunt did $454,306 against its $738,635 potential.

Playing to 89% capacity, “Metamorphoses” put in its first week of regular perfs, including opening night. Ovid’s splashfest kicked up $38,785 more to close with $228,879 on its $346,638 potential.

The long-running “Proof” and “Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” remain strong, grossing $304,047 and $306,846, respectively. Those numbers are only marginally lower than receipts for “Noises Off,” which brought in $346,889 on its $527,190.

Also bubbling under the top 10, “The Full Monty” jumped $36,462 for a final $468,905, while “Rent” improved $44,360 to close with $385,987.

As for Broadway’s longest-running show, “Les Miserables” hung in there with $421,213, up $58,738 from the previous week. Speaking of bargains, the tuner’s average price ticket came in at $46.70, with only “One Mo’ Time” priced lower, at $40.73.

“Lion King” and “Producers” were the usual sellouts.

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