Extra Show Boosts Broadway ‘Lion King’

Broadway box office slipped last week compared to the prior sesh’s President’s Day sales surge. But with two new titles joining the lineup and the potential for one tuner to become a new regular member of the millionaires’ club, the overall cume held up relatively well.

A lot of the longer-running shows on the Rialto, with no long-weekend traffic to boost demand, were off by predictably large numbers. Not so, however, at “The Lion King” ($1,779,324 for nine perfs), which kept its gross at almost the same level as the prior sesh by adding one extra show to the traditional eight-week sked.

That scheduling change landed “Lion King” at the summit of the Top 10, followed by “Wicked” ($1,657,584), “The Book of Mormon” ($1,607,985) and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,212,082). Also helping to keep Broadway’s overall tallies high was “Cinderella” ($1,045,064), the previewing tuner that might be making a habit of topping $1 million per week, and “Mary Poppins” ($1,022,585), kept aloft by last-minute biz prior to its imminent March 3 closing.

Meanwhile, the two new titles to come along — Holland Taylor solo outing “Ann” ($262,436 for seven) and “Hands on a Hardbody” ($53,229 for one) — landed at the opposite end of the chart, but modest tallies are to be expected for tyro shows playing shortened preview weeks.

Among the few productions to rise last week was “Newsies” ($926,915), stepping up by 13% and outpacing the uptick ratio at other shows including “Annie” ($972,128), “The Phantom of the Opera” ($950,908) and “Manilow on Broadway” ($653,063 for five).

Otherwise, there was slippage reported at most shows, with the biggest fall posted at Scarlett Johansson topliner “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” ($725,106), down more than $230,000 or 24%. The slide suggests Johansson’s familiar name is helping to draw tourists to the play revival, keeping sales high in holiday frames but tapering in less visitor-packed weeks.

Overall Broadway sales came in at $18.3 million for 23 shows on the boards. That’s not quite as high as the $20.3 million logged for the same week in 2012, when there were 26 shows running. Attendance last week was actually up at bit to 191,325, or 85% of total capacity.

With the wave of spring breaks fast approaching at academic institutions, look for sales to continue to climb as more productions start perfs and contribute to the usual spring momentum.

More Legit

  • Frozen review Broadway

    Broadway Musicians Earn Largest Wage Increase in Two Decades

    Broadway musicians have succeeded in earning their largest wage increase in over two decades. Announced on Wednesday, the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 AFM said in a statement that after over four months of deliberations, they have secured a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Broadway League and Coordinated Bargaining Partners to [...]

  • The Kilroys The List

    Listen: New List, New Leaders as the Kilroys Push for Parity

    The collective of writers and producers known as the Kilroys has been pushing for gender parity in the theater for five years now. With the launch last week of the latest edition of the List — the group’s annual round-up (inspired by Hollywood’s Black List) of plays by women, trans and non-binary writers — members [...]

  • Annette Bening

    Star-Studded Cast to Perform Live Reading of the Mueller Report

    Haven’t perused the Mueller report yet? A star-studded cast, including Annette Bening, Kevin Kline, and John Lithgow, can read it to you. For one night only on Monday, June 24, stars will perform a live reading of passages from the Mueller report for “The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts,” Robert Schenkkan’s [...]

  • Paula Vogel Never Expected 'Indecent' to

    Paula Vogel Never Expected 'Indecent' to Be This Timely

    When Paula Vogel began writing “Indecent” in 2010, she had no idea how resonant its exploration of immigration woes, anti-Semitism and homophobia in the past century would become in the current political climate. The Tony-nominated play, running until July 7 at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theater, traces the theatrical history of 1907 Yiddish play “God of Vengeance” [...]

  • Bitter Wheat review

    West End Review: John Malkovich in David Mamet's 'Bitter Wheat'

    How soon is too soon? Hardly a year had passed since allegations against Harvey Weinstein were made public before David Mamet announced that his satire on the subject, “Bitter Wheat,” was set to star John Malkovich in the West End. Six months later, we’re sat watching a corpulent, super-rich movie mogul — Barney Fein (cough, [...]

  • Batman Julia Roberts Spike Lee

    Batman, Julia Roberts, Spike Lee Among 2020 Walk of Fame Honorees

    Batman, Julia Roberts and Spike Lee are among the names selected to be inducted into the 2020 Walk of Fame. The full list of honorees was announced by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Walk of Fame Selection Committee via an exclusive livestream by Variety. Chosen from hundreds of nominees during a selection meeting in June, [...]

  • Tracy Letts

    Tracy Letts' Comedy 'The Minutes' to Hit Broadway in 2020

    Playwright Tracy Letts’ comedy “The Minutes” will hit the Broadway stage in Feb. 2020. “The Minutes,” written by actor, producer and playwright Letts, is a comedy taking a look at the current state of American politics through the lens of a small, fictional town called Big Cherry. The play is set in a city council [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content