×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway B.O. slips 3% for week

'Porgy,' 'Mecca' previews soften blow a bit

Broadway did a backslide after last week’s gains, with overall box office decreasing by 3% and attendance falling 4% in week 29.

Those declines were softened somewhat by newly previewing shows “Porgy and Bess” ($292,703, attendance 2,564 for two performances) and “The Road to Mecca” ($80,118, attendance 2,268 in five perfs).

Subtract those ducats and butts and the Main Stem was off more than 4% in terms of dollars and nearly 6% of attendance. B.O. dropoff was especially severe at “Sister Act” ($601,705, off 23%) and the flagging one-act collection “Relatively Speaking” ($345,133, a drop of almost $400,000 from its peak in Week 23).

The news was not all bad on the Rialto, though. “The Lion King” took the overall crown for the third consecutive week with a haul of $1,833,881, up 2% against last week. Audiences also flocked to “Billy Elliot” ($817,957, up 2%) in advance of its closing on Jan. 8, and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($1,100,832, a 6% increase) to see star Daniel Radcliffe before his upcoming departure. Plays were also hit less hard than musicals, with “Other Desert Cities” ($551,176) continuing to command a per-ticket price above $100 and “War Horse” ($988,373) galloping along at 100% attendance more than eight months after opening.

The prognosis is less rosy for struggling David Henry Hwang play “Chinglish” and just-opened basketball-Greek comedy-musical “Lysistrata Jones.” “Chinglish” played to 35% of capacity at the Longacre, while “Jones” sold tickets for $25.14 on average, or $2 less than its lowest advertised price. Even taking opening-night comps into account, that’s terrible news for the newcomer.

However poor the news this week, legiters should look for Broadway to bounce back nicely during the final weeks of the year as tourists swarm to Midtown Manhattan. Indeed, recently opened Harry Connick, Jr. starrer “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” ($744,076) and “An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin” ($480,422) both increased their box office by adding an eighth performance to their weekly schedules to capture the winter crowds.

Overall Broadway cume tallied to $24.3 million, up nearly $400,000 against last year, when three more shows were playing.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Stephen Sondheim's 'Follies' in the Works

    Stephen Sondheim's 'Follies' in the Works as a Movie From Heyday, BBC Films

    David Heyman’s Heyday Films, whose credits include “Gravity,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Marriage Story” and the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, and BBC Films have secured the film rights to Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s musical “Follies.” “Follies” will be adapted for the screen and directed by Dominic Cooke, a four-time Olivier [...]

  • Tina Turner The Musical

    How 'Tina: The Tina Turner Musical' Tells the Icon's Traumatic Story

    It wasn’t the response Tali Pelman had hoped to receive. The group creative managing director of Stage Entertainment had traveled to Küsnacht, Switzerland, with one goal in mind: Convince Tina Turner that her life could be the stuff of a successful stage musical. “We walked in the door,” Pelman remembers. “Tina was already there, and she greeted [...]

  • Ben McKenzie

    'Gotham' Star Ben McKenzie to Make Broadway Debut in 'Grand Horizons'

    “Gotham” star Ben McKenzie will make his Broadway debut in Bess Wohl’s “Grand Horizons.” He joins a cast that includes Oscar nominees Jane Alexander (“Kramer vs. Kramer,” “The Great White Hope”) and James Cromwell (“Babe,” “L.A. Confidential”). The show has a strictly limited 10-week run and begins previews on Dec. 23, 2019, before officially opening [...]

  • The Great Society review

    Listen: Brian Cox on 'Succession,' Shakespeare, and the Crisis We're In

    Brian Cox is having a pop-culture moment with “Succession,” the buzzy HBO series in which he stars. But he’s also an accomplished theater actor with plenty of experience doing Shakespeare — and it serves him well in both “Succession” and in his current Broadway show, “The Great Society.” Listen to this week’s podcast below: Cox [...]

  • Scooby Doo Ella Louise Allaire Martin

    Scooby-Doo Live Theater Tour Is Goofy Dane's Latest Adventure

    From its 1969 start as a Saturday morning kids mystery cartoon series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” starring its titular, talking Great Dane and his four teenaged friends, has made adventure its staple. Once Hanna-Barbera’s successor, Warner Bros. Animation, took the leash, Scooby and company became a comic book, a board game, a series of video [...]

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    'Tootsie' Ending Broadway Run in January

    “Tootsie,” the critically acclaimed musical adaptation of the 1982 classic film comedy, will play its final Broadway performance on Jan. 5, 2020. When it wraps up its run, the show will have logged 293 regular and 25 preview performances at the cavernous Marquis Theatre, where it sometimes labored to draw big crowds. Last week, “Tootsie” [...]

  • Laurel Griggs

    Laurel Griggs, Broadway and 'SNL' Actress, Dies at 13

    Laurel Griggs, who starred in Broadway’s “ONCE the Musical” as Ivanka, has died. She was 13. An obituary posted to Dignity Memorial indicates she died on Nov. 5, and Griggs’ grandfather wrote on Facebook that her death was due to a massive asthma attack. Griggs made her Broadway debut when she was six years old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content