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Broadway Box Office: Manly Bow for All-Male Shakespeare

'Twelfth Night' and 'Richard III' look hale in first previews, as overall B.O. stays healthy

Broadway slowed down a bit, but not by much, in the week after the Columbus Day boost, with most shows posting individual declines but few logging major ones.

Helping to keep the cume aloft was the addition of two productions, including the in-rep, Mark Rylance-toplined productions of “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III” ($468,429 for six previews), logging a solid tally in a short performance week, and Cotton Club revue “After Midnight” ($235,823 for three) also doing relatively well for the first week of a new tuner with little title recognition. Each show, coming in on the heels of recent exiters “Soul Doctor” and “The Trip to Bountiful,” played to auds at a healthy 97% of total capacity.

The only production to rise significantly week-over-week at the box office was play revival “Betrayal” ($1,250,565), gaining $140,000 of momentum in advance of its Oct. 27 opening. Such stellar tallies for the Daniel Craig-Rachel Weisz starrer might be impacted a bit with press previews and the Oct. 27 opening night this week, but expect totals nonetheless to remain plenty lofty.

Also gaining some steam was “A Night With Janis Joplin” ($397,767), fueled by the largely enthusiastic reviews from its Oct. 10 opening. Perennial tourist fave “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,044,707) rose a bit, too.

Mostly sales were down, but in general the biggest drops were experienced by the strongest sellers that could best afford it; none of them dropped out of the millionaires’ club. “The Lion King” ($1,804,890) led the Top 10, with “The Book of Mormon” ($1,767,297) edging ahead of “Wicked” ($1,719,816). “Kinky Boots” ($1,669,794), “Motown” ($1,464,583) and “Matilda” ($1,278,480) also remained strong.

Further down the chart, perhaps the most notable drop came at “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($856,976), falling some $100,000 after last week’s resurgence from a monthlong decline.

Overall Main Stem attendance actually upticked very slightly to 233,682 (or about 90% of total capacity), but without the Columbus Day holiday weekend to drive up demand (and average price paid per ticket), cume fell off by about $600,000 to $24 million for 28 shows on the boards.

More productions will continue to join the slate this week, including tuner “Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” (starting previews Oct. 22), which should help the Main Stem keep its engines revving as it moves toward the B.O.-boosting week of Thanksgiving next month.

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