It’s spring break at schools around the country, which means Broadway box office is decidedly in session.
Nearly every production on the boards saw sales rise, many of them significantly — particularly those with big-time appeal for tourists and families. Along with the usual suspects, some newer offerings gave a few clues as to their potential ability to pull in a crowd.
Take “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” ($986,297), benefitting from the pairing of topliner Daniel Radcliffe with a well-known tuner title. Show reported full houses and came close to the $1 million mark in its first week playing a full sked of eight previews.
In its first week on the Main Stem, London hit “War Horse” ($653,919 for seven previews) also logged notably strong numbers, particularly for a production presented by a not-for-profit. Attendance for the Lincoln Center Theater show came in at 99%.
“Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” ($739,803) dipped only slightly, despite the fact the frame included the heavily comped opening night and a number of press perfs. Robin Williams starrer “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” ($637,756) continued to post healthy numbers for a nonmusical with an unfamiliar title, while soon-to-open “The Book of Mormon” ($620,528) once again played to aud capacity of more than 100%.
Also new to the boards last week was “The Motherfucker with the Hat” ($271,872 for six previews), which has the marketing advantage of cast member Chris Rock but must still contend with a title that’s unprintable in most publications.
Among the longer running Broadway offerings, the usual top-grossing attractions — “Wicked” ($1,670,779), “The Lion King” ($1,612,549), lately “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,405,868) — staked out spots high up on the Top 10. Also getting a strong leg up from vacationing visitors and families were “Mary Poppins,” up 25% to $1,057,164, and “The Phantom of the Opera” ($996,324).
Chipping in another chunk of change to the Broadway pot was the already-over limited run of “Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony” ($676,203 for seven shows), proving Griffin’s fan base will indeed follow her to the Rialto.
Overall, Broadway sales climbed $3.7 million to $22.2 million for 31 shows currently running. Attendance came in at a robust 88%.
With the scheduling of spring breaks staggered throughout the month of March, look for the Broadway bounty to roll into this week’s B.O. frame as well.