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Winter lull for Broadway

Only 'Mormon,' 'Mecca' see B.O. upticks

Broadway suffered its worst week since the first week of 2012, with overall Rialto box office tumbling more than $3.4 million and attendance down by nearly 25,000, despite the addition of two new previewing productions.

The bad B.O. mojo was spread pretty evenly among the 27 shows on the boards, with only smash hit “The Book of Mormon” ($1,493,754 — up 2% and setting yet another house record at the Eugene O’Neill) and just-shuttered “The Road to Mecca” ($250,244 — a 14% uptick in its final week) increasing their haul over last week. Among the hardest hit were the recently recast revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($530,319), and tourist magnets “The Phantom of the Opera” ($621,644) and “Mary Poppins” ($627,330), all of which were down more than 30% against last week. One-man show “Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It” didn’t inspire the final week rush that rose to meet “The Road to Mecca,” as the renowned actor and Priceline spokesmodel ended his three-week Broadway run with a $295,534 take (albeit for only six performances), down 6%, though that was still enough to beat out “Godspell” ($279,527, down 22%).

If there is a silver lining for legiters in this week’s numbers, it is in the performance of the previewing productions. The Philip Seymour Hoffman-toplined revival of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” ($661,262 in seven perfs) cracked the top 10 list ahead of its March 15 opening and suffered the least decline compared to last week, down only 4%. Tuners “Once” ($525,050) and “Jesus Christ Superstar” ($370,699 for four perfs) also opened strong, playing to nearly full houses.

Overall Broadway cume was $16,890,525, an increase of almost $2 million against the same time last year, when 26 shows were running. Attendance stood at 192,998, or 75.7% capacity.

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