It was the calm before the storm at the Broadway box office last week, with sales for the frame ended Oct. 28 dampened a bit by the Sandy shutdown that hit the Rialto Sunday evening. But that didn’t stop seven shows from finding spots in the millionaires’ club.
With all Main Stem productions up and running Thursday, the New York legit industry returned to some level of normalcy as last week’s grosses, originally due Monday, finally became available.
Overall cume was down more than $1.9 million to $20.1 million from 29 shows, with attendance off more than 13,000 to 214,909. A lot of those declines were attributable to dips at the shows that, shuttered by the hurricane, played only seven perfs last week rather than the full eight.
Four of the top-grossing titles played shortened seshes. With eights shows under its belt last week, “Wicked” ($1,657,271) reclaimed the top spot from frequent rival “The Lion King” ($1,431,056), which played only seven. Ditto “The Book of Mormon” ($1,423,087) and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,047,792).
In a second week of previews that seemingly establishes “Glengarry Glen Ross” as the new juggernaut in town, the play revival — powered by topliner Al Pacino, leading a cast of familiar faces in a title already linked to Pacino from his role in the 1992 movie version — raked in $1,142,044 from seven perfs. Those kinds of numbers are particularly notable for a nonmusical, although prior revivals of well-known plays — including “The Merchant of Venice,” another Pacino outing that broke B.O. records in 2010 — have shown that producers can strike major gold with the right star in the right title.
For the second week in a row, Frankie Valli, appearing on the Rialto in “Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway,” yielded similarly impressive sales, posting $770,182 from just four shows. The concert offering wrapped up its brief Gotham stint Oct. 27.
“Nice Work If You Can Get It” ($984,485) and “Jersey Boys” ($959,737), meanwhile, each slipped below the $1 million mark despite playing eight shows each. Among other shows logging declines in full weeks of performances were “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($324,351) and “Bring It On” ($297,777), each down 22% or more.
Joining the slate last week was porn-industry comedy “The Performers” ($187,397 for seven perfs), which logged predictably modest numbers for a new play with an unfamiliar name. For previewing productions such as “Performers” and tuner “Scandalous” ($222,066), the next few weeks will prove particularly challenging since the city’s extended recovery period will likely hobble attendance during a window of early perfs that is crucial to building word of mouth.