NEW YORK — It was slim pickings under Broadway’s Christmas tree this year as receipts slipped 0.1% to $15,929,885, with attendance down 6.7% to 218,336, during Week 30 (Dec. 20-26). By comparison, Santa brought the Stem $19.1 million last year (up 21.4% from the previous week) and $21.4 million in 2002 (up 32.3%).
The problem was an uncharacteristically grinch-like calendar, with Dec. 25 falling on a Saturday and disrupting what’s usually a boffo post-holiday weekend. Several shows skipped the would-be Christmas Day matinee and played only seven perfs.
“The Lion King” had its best week ever, jumping $165,881 to $1,328,128 on the heels of a $10 bump in its top ticket price. Disney tuner reclaimed the top spot on the charts, which “Wicked” (up $24,262 to $1,266,203) had held for 23 straight weeks.
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The only show with a bigger improvement than “Lion” was “The Phantom of the Opera,” which gained $186,643 to $855,144, perhaps riding the coattails of the film version’s opening weekend.
Beach Boys tuner “Good Vibrations” took $255,720 in its first seven previews at the Eugene O’Neill.
The 21 musicals grossed $13,219,712 for 83.0% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 177,842 at 80.5% of capacity.
The 10 plays grossed $2,710,173 for 17.0% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 40,494 at 58.6% of capacity.
Average ticket prices were $74.33 for musicals, $66.93 for plays and $72.96 for all shows.