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Hot New Titles Stay Strong at Softening Broadway B.O.

Sales and attendance dip ahead of the bump likely to come with high summer

Broadway box office slipped in the wake of Memorial Day weekend, with most shows on the boards reporting declines for the first week of the 2013-14 season.

With overall attendance down, it helped to be one of the Main Stem’s hot young things, with “Motown” ($1,354,876), “Lucky Guy” ($1,343,042), “Kinky Boots” ($1,340,238) and “Matilda” ($1,157,633) — three of which are high-profile Tony contenders — among the handful of shows to play to consistently sold-out houses.

The productions that draw heavily on tourist and family auds took the largest hits of the frame, including new outings “Cinderella” (falling out the millionaires’ club to $895,419) and “Annie” ($800,490) as well as longrunner “Chicago” ($551,330) and out-of-towner magnet “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,040,596). Plays such as “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” ($524,082), “The Nance” ($439,070) and “The Trip to Bountiful” ($415,088) also dipped in both sales and attendance.

Box office often takes somewhat of a breather around this time, with the post-Memorial Day weeks softening before the upswing of summer tourism and the publicity boost of the Tonys send B.O. bouncing back uphill.

Sales last week downshifted by about $2.25 million to $23,307,202 for 27 shows on the boards. Attendance dropped to 223,090, off about 7% from the 240,878 posted the prior sesh. It’s also a notable downgrade from the 257,495 logged last week at this time, but there were a whopping 36 shows running at that time vs. the current crop of 27.

A single show, nonprofit outing “The Big Knife” ($256,480), closed last week, which will shrink the pool of titles to benefit from upcoming high-summer sales to 26 — at least until Broadway’s July openers, “Forever Tango” and “Let It Be,” start perfs.

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