The star-driven Broadway play took its latest step last week into the big box office territory of splashy musicals, with the final frame of Bryan Cranston starrer “All the Way” breaking the record, by a hefty margin, for the highest single-week tally ever for a non-musical title on the Main Stem.
After setting a record of $1.43 million just a week ago, “All the Way” ($1,623,495) stepped up a whopping $200,000 and last-minute biz drive up the average price paid per ticket to $141.62 — just a bit higher than the show’s top non-premium price tag of $140.
Limited engagements of starry Broadway plays have long prodded non-musical box office to greater and greater heights — just ask the recently shuttered Denzel Washington starrer “A Raisin in the Sun,” which saw its average price paid per ticket hit $154 in its last week. But the fact that all “All the Way” played in a relatively large venue for a play — the Neil Simon, a 1,400-seat house more often reserved for musicals — helped the show set its new record.
The boffo tally for “All the Way” landed the play on the fourth rung of the Top 10, right behind perennial top dogs “Wicked” ($2,107,598), “The Lion King” ($2,044,928) and “The Book of Mormon” ($1,658,638) and just ahead of “Aladdin” ($1,502,696), which hit its highest number yet.
Like “Aladdin,” a handful of the spring’s most popular additions posted gains, perhaps most notably “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” ($927,487), finally enjoying the strong momentum it couldn’t achieve without Tony attention. “Beautiful” ($1,235,339) also climbed, as did “After Midnight” ($767,964) in its last week on the boards. (The limited run of Manhattan Theater Club play “Casa Valentina,” which pulled in $235,016, also played its final frame.)
Otherwise, most productions on the boards remained about on par with the prior sesh or slipped just a bit in a week that saw attendance downtick very slightly to 277,136. The most notable dip of the week was logged at “Bullets Over Broadway” ($602,629), down by a significant 20%. Topliner Zach Braff was out for a single performance, but the sales drop stands out enough that it could also indicate a broader decline in overall momentum for the title.
Meanwhile, things continue to look dire for Tupac Shakur musical “Holler if Ya Hear Me” ($159,571), with Broadway types already speculating about an imminent closing.
Overall Broadway cume came in at $29,774,659 for 33 shows currently playing.
With three shows gone as of Sunday, the coming week’s sales would already have been expected to slip even if it weren’t the week of July 4, the summer holiday whose outdoor focus on barbecues and fireworks tends to keep people away from the theater. Last season, however, the Street stayed healthy thanks to its crop of strong new titles; it remains to be seen whether this spring’s tyros can keep B.O. afloat the same way.