Fresh shows continued to bring in new coin to the Broadway box office — but with gains at some productions countered by losses at others, the overall tally upticked only a bit.
The top-grossing tyro, “Evita” ($1,410,635), played its first full week of eight previews and stepped even more firmly into the millionaires’ club, powered by the international auds turning out to see Ricky Martin in the familiar Andrew Lloyd Webber title. Meanwhile, the recently opened revival of “Death of a Salesman” ($777,953), starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield, broke the house record at the Barrymore Theater despite accommodating post-opening press tickets and playing a regular sked of only seven perfs rather than the usual eight.
Previewing musical “Newsies” ($828,882) also rose, playing seven shows rather than the six played the prior frame, while the starry revival of “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man” ($723,315) gained notable steam in its second frame of eight previews. Just-opened “Once” ($638,004) climbed by nearly $140,000 on the strength of its glowing reviews and despite any losses the week’s second-night press comps might have incurred.
Judy Garland bio-play “End of the Rainbow” ($315,525) and hoops drama “Magic/Bird” ($127,931 for seven previews) joined the fray, with “Magic/Bird” in particular struggling to turn heads with attendance of 48%. Previewing London import “Ghost” ($563,006 for seven) scared up middling numbers.
Other productions to get a boost last week were “Porgy and Bess” ($687,792), which saw star Audra McDonald, absent from the show last week, return for six of the frame’s eight perfs. “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” ($606,658) climbed as promotions began to kick in, while play “Venus in Fur” ($325,402) also took a strong step up.
But while all those shows contributed to the Broadway pot, slippage at other productions countered some of the gains. “Wicked” ($1,808,773) took one of the larger falls of the week but still came out on top, while “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($700,538) dropped in the wake of a couple of strong seshes. “The Phantom of the Opera” ($941,101) and “Anything Goes” ($584,981) also were among the shows to see sales taper off.
Overall Broadway box office rose about $750,000 to $23 million for 30 shows on the boards. Attendance rose a bit to 247,811.