Broadway box office inched upward last week, recovering from the $3 million tumble the Street took in the frame after Labor Day.
September is traditionally one of the Rialto’s crueler months, with the back-to-school distractions of the season tending to pull biz away from Broadway. The first week after Labor Day is usually the toughest, with a slow recovery coming in its wake.
Last week almost every show on the boards posted an uptick. Biggest of the bunch was at “Fela!” ($463,706), which rose almost $120,000 (or 35%) over the previous sesh thanks to the added draw of Patti LaBelle, who began her stint with the show Sept. 14.
For a number of productions, individual gains tended toward the $50,000 range or above, with “A Little Night Music” ($606,204) and “La Cage aux Folles” ($530,552) each up by about 15% (or more than $70,000 each) over the prior week. Overall sales rose around $1 million to $16.6 million for 24 shows on the boards.
Still, it wasn’t the Main Stem’s most robust showing. Only three productions — the usual triumvirate of “Wicked” ($1,479,055), “The Lion King” ($1,210,030) and “Jersey Boys” ($1,046,786) — staked out spots in the millionaires’ club, a noticeable step down from the summertime crowd of million-plus earners.
One fall production joined the fray last week, with “The Pitmen Painters” ($189,291) playing a full week of previews.