Broadway’s summer B.O. exits slowly

Sales continue to decline

Summer sales continued to dwindle last week along Broadway, with box office slowing ahead of the major dropoff that occurs every year after Labor Day.

The wide majority of productions posted declines over the prior frame, although few shortages were major. The largest dip came at “Promises, Promises” ($966,150), falling below the $1 million mark for the first time in many weeks — although the drop seems largely attributable to the weekend-long absence of co-star Kristin Chenoweth (who attended Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony, where she was up for a trophy for her recurring role on “Glee”).

On the rise were “Come Fly Away “($635,399), gaining some last-minute momentum before the dance-ical shutters early next month, and “A Little Night Music” ($539,005), still benefiting from the glowing reviews recently earned by the revival’s new stars. “Race” ($274,787) was up a whopping 19% in its final week on the boards, but still played to an audience capacity of less than 50%.

“Million Dollar Quartet” ($450,851), which has struggled to attract attention through most of the summer, also managed to buck the downward trend.

In general, most shows saw slippage. “American Idiot” ($707,740) was off 10% compared to the previous week and played to houses that averaged 64% of capacity, indicating the Green Day musical may prove more vulnerable than others to drops in city tourism.

Nonetheless, few dips at individual productions were notable last week. “Mary Poppins” ($1,052,470), for instance, experienced one of the steepest declines of the sesh but still held onto its spot in the millionaires’ club.Overall, Main Stem sales slid about $1 million to $18.1 million for 23 shows on the boards. The slide will likely continue as productions — such as “South Pacific” ($626,513), which closed Sunday — continue to shutter in preparation for the September doldrums.

The season so far compares favorably with the 2009-10 box office, with the cume hitting $265 million and attendance at just shy of 3 million — slight upticks vs. last year. Both figures rep slight upticks compared to the same time last year.

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