×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway Box Office Cashes in on Good Bette

'I'll Eat You Last,' starring Bette Midler, posts encouraging sales from initial previews

As Tom Hanks topliner “Lucky Guy” continued to rake it in at the Broadway box office last week, star-driven plays led by Better Midler and Alec Baldwin joined the fray and Midler outing “I’ll Eat You Last” logged particularly notable biz.

“Eat” pulled in $313,705 from just three previews — a strong tally in the Booth Theater, at just 782 seats, and just slightly more than the show’s official gross potential. That’s an indicator that demand was strong enough to drive premium-ticket sales, pushing the average price paid per ducat to almost $134.

That figure is in the range of the ones reported in recent weeks of “Lucky Guy” ($1,226,451), which managed to top the $1 million mark despite a frame that accommodated the heavily comped opening night and subsequent second-night press tickets. Of course, even if demand keeps up at “I’ll Eat You Last,” the show would likely never match the overall sales of “Lucky Guy” due to the differences in ticket inventory (with 1,182 seats at the Broadhurst, the “Lucky Guy” venue). But producers would still make out nicely.

Baldwin, meanwhile, co-stars with Ben Foster and Tom Sturridge in “Orphans,” which took in $595,471 for eight previews. The figure won’t break any records, but it’s still a relatively healthy number for a three-actor revival of a title few people recognize.

Also last week Alan Cumming starrer “Macbeth” ($92,285) started perfs, playing just a single preview and reporting a solid (and potentially auspicious) gross from it.

Among other previewing shows, “Motown” ($1,130,744) topped $1 million for the fourth straight week. That’s in part a testament to the global appeal of the familiar Motown music that makes up the score; whether reviews, set to hit after the show’s April 14 opening, have any effect on the momentum remains to be seen.

Overall, it was a blooming spring week for the Rialto with a dozen shows currently in previews — not to mention 12 titles earning more than $1 million each. Heck, both “Wicked” ($2,257,034) and “The Lion King” ($2,081,319) managed to break the $2 million barrier, while longrunner “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,368,904) continued to stake out a spot in the Top 10 and “Cinderella” ($1,243,857) logged the highest tally of the week among the shows that have so far opened this season. (Another of this year’s openers, “Annie,” wasn’t far behind with $1,120,203.)

Main Stem cume for 32 total shows came in at $25,899,686, down around $2.6 million from the holiday-inflated sesh the prior week. The cume also wasn’t as high as the same week in 2012, although it’s worth noting that last year Easter (and its attendant box office bump) fell during this frame rather than the week prior.

In general the Street’s non-musicals mostly clustered in the lowered half of the chart, including “The Trip to Bountiful” ($441,915), “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” ($371,075), “The Nance” ($367,937) and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s ($337,621). Fiona Shaw starrer “The Testament of Mary” ($196,495) and “The Assembled Parties” ($156,671) each played seven-preview weeks.

While previewing tuner “Pippin” ($661,104) pulled in solid sales, recent opener “Hands on a Hardbody” ($240,040) still struggled to parlay some favorable reviews into healthy B.O. The limited run of tuner “Jekyll and Hyde” ($341,454) kicked off its inital perfs last week, playing five previews.

“Kinky Boots” ($775,687), which opened last week, was down thanks to its April 4 opening night and press perfs. But earning a generally upbeat batch of reviews in the wake of opening, the show seems poised to build some momentum in the coming frames.

More Legit

  • The American Clock review

    London Theater Review: 'The American Clock'

    Time is money. Money is time. Both come unstuck in “The American Clock.” Arthur Miller’s kaleidoscopic account of the Great Depression, part autobiography, part social history, crawls through the decade after the Wall Street crash, dishing up snapshots of daily life. In the Old Vic’s classy revival, director Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”) tunes into the play’s [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Off Broadway Review: Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Sea Wall/A Life'

    Comfy? Okay, let’s talk Death: sudden death, painful death, lingering death, accidental death, and whatever other kinds of death happen to come into the receptive minds of playwrights Simon Stephens (“Sea Wall”) and Nick Payne (“A Life”). The writing in these separate monologues — playing together on a double bill at the Public Theater — [...]

  • Michael Jackson Estate Cancels Musical Test-Run

    Michael Jackson Estate Cancels Musical Test-Run

    With an HBO documentary that places strong allegations of abuse against Michael Jackson premiering in two weeks, the late singer’s estate announced Thursday that it’s canceling a scheduled Chicago test run of a jukebox musical about him. The estate and its producing partner in the musical, Columbia Live Stage, said that they’re setting their sights on going [...]

  • All About Eve review

    West End Review: Gillian Anderson and Lily James in 'All About Eve'

    To adapt a crass old adage: it’s “All About Eve,” not “All About Steve.” Stripping Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s sharp-witted screenplay about a waning theater star of its period trappings, Ivo van Hove’s stage adaptation fine-tunes its feminism for our own sexist age — image-obsessed, anti-aging, the time of Time’s Up. Rather than blaming Lily James’ [...]

  • Adam Shankman

    Listen: Why Adam Shankman Directs Every Movie Like It's a Musical

    Director Adam Shankman’s latest movie, the Taraji P. Henson comedy “What Men Want,” isn’t a musical. But as one of Hollywood’s top director-choreographers of musicals and musical sequences, he approaches even non-musicals with a sense of tempo. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “When I read a script, it processes in my head like a [...]

  • Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella' Review

    L.A. Theater Review: Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella'

    How much can you change “Cinderella” before it is no longer “Cinderella”? In the case of choreography maestro Matthew Bourne — who, it should be said, first unveiled his spin on the classic folk tale some 22 years ago — the music is most certainly “Cinderella” (Prokofiev’s 1945 score, to be exact), but the plot [...]

  • 'Pinter Seven' Review: Martin Freeman Stars

    West End Review: 'Pinter Seven' Starring Martin Freeman

    “Pinter at the Pinter” has been an education — a crash course in Britain’s greatest post-war playwright. Director-producer Jamie Lloyd’s star-studded, six-month sprint through Harold Pinter’s short plays and sketches has been exquisitely curated and consistently revelatory. Not only has Lloyd tuned audiences into the writer’s technique, his unconventional groupings have exposed a load of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content