Columbus Day brings Broadway boost

'Lion King,' 'Wicked' knock off 'Mormon'

The Columbus Day holiday weekend brought a surge in Broadway sales in Week 19 (Oct. 1-7) helped along by the addition of “Annie” and “The Heiress,” two shows that began previews with solid numbers.

With tourist-fueled attendance up by more than 20,000 to 205,289, B.O. climbed almost $3 million to $20.1 million for the 24 shows on the boards.

“Annie” ($560,928 for five previews) contributed a decent chunk of change for a tuner revival just starting its run.

Eight shows pulled in sales of more than $1 million, with “Lion King” ($1,831,098) and “Wicked” ($1,806,846) knocking “The Book of Mormon” ($1,668,832, yet another house record for the musical) out of the No. 1 spot it had occupied over the past few frames. Every show on the boards posted gains.

The Broadway cume seems likely to slip next week without a holiday to prop it up, but the new productions slated to bow in the coming weeks are poised to counteract any fall doldrums. The 17 musicals grossed $17,667,877 for 87.9% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 168,594 and an average paid admission of $104.80.

The seven plays grossed $2,439,327 for 12.1% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 36,695 and an average paid admission of $66.48.