Some things old and some things new dominated the Broadway box office charts last week, as “Aladdin” and “Beautiful,” two of the strongest spring openers, muscled past last year’s hits to nestle in the Top 10 right behind perennial juggernauts “The Lion King,” “Wicked” and “The Book of Mormon.”
Disney Theatrical’s “Aladdin” ($1,517,996) and Carole King bio “Beautiful” ($1,253,526) benefit from being among the newer kids on the Broadway block as well as from a bit of Tony Award afterglow, which together likely helped them move on up beyond the prior spring’s sales magnets, “Kinky Boots” ($1,206,479) and “Matilda” ($1,101,510) — both still doing just fine, thank you very much. Another of the spring’s most popular entries, Neil Patrick Harris topliner “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” ($1,072,311 for seven perfs), rounded out the week’s millionaires club.
Also adding to the pot last week were plays “Of Mice and Men” ($862,862), the James Franco-Chris O’Dowd starrer that closes July 27, and Daniel Radcliffe outing “The Cripple of Inishmaan” ($596,630), which shutters this week. Both got a pick-me-up from last-minute biz, climbing by more than $100,000 each. “Bullets Over Broadway” ($626,679) also improved notably compared to the previous sesh’s unusually low tally, and Michelle Williams-Alan Cumming starrer “Cabaret” ($809,887) powered up to one of its best weeks yet.
Otherwise, box office was mostly business as usual for this time of year, with cumulative sales climbing just barely to $25.6 million for 29 shows on the boards. Overall attendance was down a tick to 243,337, thanks in part to the absence of recently closed shows including “The Realistic Joneses.” But in a mark of increasing demand (at least for the Street’s hotter tickets), the average price paid per ticket stepped up by $5 to $105.
The week saw the Main Stem begin to recover from the July 4 fizzle, and fall in line with trends that had been established earlier in the summer. The new revival of “Les Miserables” ($982,762) was neck-and-neck with its longrunning British-megamusical compatriot “The Phantom of the Opera” ($977,007), while the 2013-14 season’s big Tony winner “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” ($901,681) sustained the head of steam it earned from its awards-season love.
Continuing to struggle, “Holler If Ya Hear Me” ($154,9478) saw a hint of a sales increase but a downgrade in attendance (which fell to 45% of overall capacity). Producers have vowed to keep the tuner open for as long as they can manage, but if B.O. remains this low, it might not be long.