You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway Box Office: Orlando Bloom Romances in Previews

'Romeo and Juliet' logs a healthy debut in a week that saw overall sales slow

Broadway’s fall season launched a bit early this year, with Orlando Bloom topliner “Romeo and Juliet” bowing to strong numbers in a late-summer week that saw overall sales continue to slow in advance of the post-Labor Day dropoff.

Co-starring Condola Rashad (“The Trip to Bountiful”) opposite Bloom as the doomed teen lovers, “Romeo and Juliet” played two previews and pulled in $207,375. That’s a healthy showing for a play, if not quite in the record-breaking region of stage stints from movie names such as Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.

Otherwise, as city tourism continues to trickle away in the face of late-August start dates for an increasing number of schools and universities, overall Broadway B.O. continued to deflate, with declines reported at the majority of titles on the boards. Heck, even “The Lion King” dipped below the $2 million mark for the first time in seven weeks, although that musical’s chart-topping tally of $1,875,882 hardly seems something to cry about.

There was slippage across the board, from the top 10 — led by its usual trio of “Lion King,” “Wicked” ($1,708,781) and “The Book of Mormon” ($1,698,210) — all the way down to “Forever Tango” ($206,708) and “Soul Doctor” ($187,435), each of which came in behind “Romeo and Juliet” despite playing a full week of eight perfs. The seemingly indefatigable “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,068,863) kept its head above $1 million, but “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($966,952), another musical that tends to rise and fall with the tourism tides, slid under it.

The only shows to post gains last week were “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” ($565,571), rising a bit in its final week on the boards; “The Trip to Bountiful” ($481,516), also upticking, perhaps due to a bit of last-minute sales for the final stretch of perfs for one of the play’s stars, Cuba Gooding Jr.; and Beatles revue “Let It Be” ($321,418), logging a bump so minor the show remained essentially on par with its B.O. from the prior sesh.

Overall Broadway cume slid $1.2 million to $20.6 million for 24 shows on the boards, with attendance down by around 6,000 to 198,020, or 82.5% of total capacity. Average ticket price came in at a relatively robust $104, indicating still-strong demand from the theatergoers that did turn out last week.

Sales will likely continue to slip this week, with the big drop on its way in the back-to-school frames immediately following Labor Day. But “Romeo and Juliet” reps the vanguard of the fall lineup, to be followed Sept. 5 by the start of previews for “The Glass Menagerie” starring Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne

    Sam Rockwell, Laurence Fishburne Starring in Broadway Revival of 'American Buffalo'

    Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell will star in an upcoming Broadway revival of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo.” The show marks Rockwell’s first appearance on the Great White Way since his 2014 performance in the revival of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love.” The five-year absence saw him pick up an Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, [...]

  • Secret Derren Brown review

    Broadway Review: 'Derren Brown: Secret'

    Audiences love to be fooled, whether it’s with clever plotting with a twist, the arrival of an unexpected character or even a charming flimflam man with a British accent. The latter is Derren Brown, and he’s entertaining audiences for a limited run at the Cort Theatre, where he is playing head-scratching mind games and other [...]

  • Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica ParkerNew York

    Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker to Reunite on Broadway for 'Plaza Suite'

    Real-life couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are hitting the Broadway stage again for a reboot of the late Neil Simon’s 1968 play “Plaza Suite.” The staging will mark the Broadway directorial debut of Tony award-winner John Benjamin Hickey. Set in New York City’s Plaza Hotel in Suite 719, “Plaza Suite” is comprised of [...]

  • Derren Brown

    Listen: Derren Brown Spills His Broadway 'Secret'

    Derren Brown has spent a lot of his career performing magic shows on theater stages — but he’ll be the first to tell you that magic usually doesn’t make for great theater. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “If you’re a magician of any sort, you can make stuff happen with a click of your [...]

  • A Very Expensive Poison review

    London Theater Review: 'A Very Expensive Poison'

    Vladimir Putin owes his power to the stage. The president’s closest advisor trained as a theatre director before applying his art to politics, and ran Russia like a staged reality, spinning so many fictions that truth itself began to blur. By scrambling the story and sowing confusion, Putin could exert absolute control. The long-awaited latest [...]

  • Betrayal review Tom Hiddleston

    Broadway Review: 'Betrayal' With Tom Hiddleston

    and Zawe Ashton as a long-married couple and Charlie Cox as the secret lover. Director Jamie Lloyd’s impeccable direction — now on Broadway, after a hot-ticket London run — strips Pinter’s 1978 play to its bare bones: the excruciating examination of the slow death of a marriage.  It’s a daring approach, leaving the characters nowhere [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content