A ‘Wicked’ good holiday session

Presidents Day weekend, new offerings add to pot

Broadway perked up for Presidents Day, with the long weekend’s spike in tourist traffic pushing B.O. up by almost 30% in Week 38 (Feb. 13-19) compared with the prior frame.

Also adding to the pot were two new offerings, including “Death of a Salesman” ($613,569 for six previews), the Philip Seymour Hoffman starrer that pulled in solid numbers for a first week and played to auds that approached 90% of capacity. The brief run of solo outing “Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It” ($305,705 for six) played two previews and four regular perfs, including opening. Except for “The Book of Mormon” ($1,473,606), which held steady, every production on the boards reported gains, many of them significant.

The heftiest chunk of change, of course, was pulled in at the top-ticket hits, including “Wicked” ($1,903,024), “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,709,139) and “The Lion King” ($1,665,141), which climbed by more than $300,000 each. Buoyed in part by the increasing prevalence of premium pricing as well as Broadway’s consistently rising ticket prices across the board, “Wicked” came within spitting distance of the $2 million mark, an achievement that a few years ago, used to be reserved for B.O.-busting major holidays such as Thanksgiving.

Overall Rialto cume climbed $4.4 million to $20.1 million for the 26 shows on the boards. Attendance was up by 35,000 to almost 210,000, or about 85% of overall capacity.

The 17 musicals grossed $16,138,494 for 80.4% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 162,575 and an average paid admission of $99.27.

The nine plays grossed $3,932,703 for 19.6% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 47,366 and an average paid admission of $83.03.