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Fireworks arrive late at Broadway

B.O. was up, but paid attendance dropped

Broadway awoke from its holiday torpor after the sleepy Fourth of July week, grossing $13,268,805 last week, up $429,682 or 3.6% from the previous frame.

Total managed to trump 2002 figure of $12,584,341, a significant achievement considering there were five more shows on the board last year.

But paid attendance was down 1.2% from last week for the 24 shows. The B.O. rise was due to higher ticket prices overall as general demand for tickets increased.

“Beauty and the Beast” had the most significant drop of the week. It was down $64,942 from the previous week, to $537,559. “Man of La Mancha” and “Rent” were the only other two shows to lose altitude for the second week in a row, but their losses were a more harmless $14,596 and $3,970, respectively.

Making up for bearing the biggest loss last week, “The Producers” ascended the most this week, rising by $104,057 to $919,713.

In its last week on the boards, the Roundabout’s revival of “Master Harold … and the Boys” did its best biz, coming in at $308,994 and 82.4% capacity.

Other bigger week-to-week winners were tourist tuners “Mamma Mia!,” up $43,356 to $1,026,646; “42nd Street,” up $43,278 to $694,469; “Chicago,” up $38,792 to $604,866; and “The Phantom of the Opera,” up $30,905 to $595,159.

Newcomer “Big River” was up $22,930 from its first week, to $195,503, while the crooning puppets of “Avenue Q” began their Broadway run with three previews and a gross of $47,048.

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