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Broadway Box Office: ‘Annie’ Slide Shows Jane Lynch’s Might

Rialto cume about on par with the prior week, but Lynch's absence prompts fall at 'Annie'

How much of a boost did Jane Lynch give to the box office at the revival of “Annie” on Broadway? About $175,000 a week, to judge from last week’s Rialto B.O. charts.

“Glee” star Lynch, who played the villainous Miss Hannigan in the revival, began her run in mid-May and helped keep the show in the millionaires’ club for the second month of her eight-week engagement. But she exited July 14, prompting sales to sink $175,000 last week to $956,255.

That tally is still nothing to sneeze at, but the drop still stands out in a frame that saw the majority of productions rise to one degree or another.

“The Book of Mormon” ($1,749,550) was down by about the same amount as “Annie,” and “Wicked” ($1,907,228) was off by about $80,000. But that’s because both those sales juggernauts had played nine perfs the prior sesh, both of them serving as recent examples of a trend that has seen legit producers aim to exploit tourist-boosted seasonal demand by skedding an extra show during select summer weeks.

Last week it was “The Lion King” ($2,316,189) that played nine shows, and the extra perf drove weekly receipts up $245,000 and pushed the musical to the number one spot on the Top 10.

Also among the handful of shows to post a decline last week was “First Date” ($350,122) in its second week on the boards. One big contributing factor was likely the fact that the tuner’s biggest name star, Zachary Levi, was out for the week due to a Comic-Con commitment; otherwise the small-scale musical seems to be making a decent start in its early weeks, given the challenges of a new title with no brand recognition wading into a summer season largely dominated by longrunning icons such as “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,147,544) or recent Tony winners like “Kinky Boots” ($1,604,272) and “Pippin” ($1,037,961).

The smattering of other declines were negligible. Helping to counteract them were  the upswings at shows including “Forever Tango” ($430,325), which picked up $125,000 worth of momentum in its second week, and “Cinderella” ($1,135,743), climbing around $70,000.

A couple of new additions to the Main Stem also added coin to the pot, including Beatles tribute “Let It Be” ($399,319) and “Soul Doctor” ($109,750 for five previews). The latter is a new musical that seems to have its work cut out for it in carving out a profile among the Street’s more established names.

Overall Rialto cume was on par with the previous week, ringing in at $23.6 million for 25 shows on the boards. With summer tourism continuing to pack Gotham, attendance rose a bit to 225,234.

Based on past summers, the next few weeks will likely be the last ones for the hot-weather sales boom. In mid-August B.O. usually begins to slip in advance of Labor Day, after which comes the back-to-school slump that traditionally hits the Rialto every September.

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