You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway Holds Better Than Cinema at the Box Office

Independence Day didn’t set off any fireworks at the Broadway box office last week — but at least the Rialto held steadier than the cineplex.

Compared to a dreadful weekend at the movies that saw a sales drop of more than 40% compared to last year’s holiday frame, the Broadway box office cume of $25,117,615 were actually up vs. last year’s July 4 numbers, when sales for the holiday week came in at $22.8 million.

Still, no shows were popping champagne. The 2013 tally was for 23 shows running at the time, while this year’s total was for a bulkier slate of 30 titles. That means demand was higher last year, with the 2013 average price paid per ticket weighing in at close to $110 vs. the $100 posted this year.

Compared to the prior week, Broadway sales fell a significant $4.7 million (or 16%) and attendance slid by nearly 10% to 250,849.

At least no one could say they didn’t see it coming. The outdoor celebrations associated with July 4 usually tend to hobble Broadway sales, and the forecast reflected that this year. Unlike last year — when a bumper crop of spring openers managed to hit new heights over Independence Day — nearly every single individual title on the Street logged a decline last week.

Predictably, the few titles to increase during the frame were among the Main Stem’s oldest, most enduring tourist magnets. “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,0001,126) saw the biggest rise, stepping up into the millionaires’ club, while “Chicago” ($526,548) upticked. So did the “The Lion King” ($2,066,169), which inflated enough nab the No. 1 spot on the Top 10.

Popular on Variety

Among the Broadway lineup’s newer shows, both “Aladdin” ($1,498,146) and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” ($1,023,210) remained steady, while “Beautiful” ($1,180,965) and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” ($886,839) were among the shows to downshift.

In a crowd full of week-to-week declines, “Cinderella” ($658,070) stood out with a hefty slide of 29%, while — perhaps more alarmingly since it’s a newer show — “Bullets Over Broadway” ($492,009) dropped 18%. “Motown” ($833,702) was off 16%.

With three shows shuttering the previous sesh, last week saw the exit of “The Realistic Joneses” ($420,300), down just barely in its final frame. That departure leaves “Of Mice and Men” ($755,356), the James Franco-Chris O’Dowd starrer that recouped last month, and Daniel Radcliffe topliner “The Cripple of Inishmaan” ($467,389) as the only non-musicals on the boards at the moment — unless you count the play-with-music “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” ($471,917), doing well enough to announce an extension to Sept. 21.

With July 4 out of the way, Broadway can now get back to its usual robust summer sales, when tourist traffic is abundant enough that Broadway’s most popular shows have begun scheduling a handful of nine-performance weeks to take advantage of the hot-weather business.




More Legit

  • Greater Clements review

    'Greater Clements': Theater Review

    The American Dream and all of its values have taken quite a beating lately. Director and screenwriter Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” Bruce Springsteen’s recent “Western Stars” album, even Ralph Lauren in the documentary “Very Ralph” show us how this country and all of its totems and merits have gone asunder. No dreams are more crushed, [...]

  • Harry Connick Jr Walk of Fame

    Harry Connick Jr. on Returning to Broadway

    Harry Connick Jr. is headed back to Broadway with a three-week limited engagement celebration of legendary songwriter Cole Porter. The actor and musician came up with the concept for the show and is also directing. “I love Broadway and if I had two careers one of them would be only Broadway just because I love [...]

  • Jagged Little Pill review

    Broadway Review: 'Jagged Little Pill'

    Nearly 25 years after “Jagged Little Pill” hit the shelves of record stores, Alanis Morissette’s innovative 1995 album has arrived on Broadway under the muscular direction of Diane Paulus, who launched this galvanic production at the American Repertory Theater. The show’s supportive book by screenwriter Diablo Cody interprets Morissette’s musical idiom as a universal domestic [...]

  • Claire Warden

    Listen: Let's Talk About Sex Onstage

    The craft of intimacy direction is taking Broadway by storm — and on the latest episode of Variety’s Stagecraft, Broadway’s first intimacy director explains why, and breaks down the ways in which she’s helping to revolutionize how actors get intimate onstage. Listen to this week’s podcast below: Warden, whose credits this season include “Jagged Little [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    Mark Addy, Dan Stevens Head Broadway Cast of 'Hangmen'

    Mark Addy and Dan Stevens will appear in the Broadway premiere of Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen.” Addy, best known for his work on “Game of Thrones” and “The Full Monty,” starred in the off-Broadway production of the black comedy. It’s the first time Stevens, beloved for his turn on “Downton Abbey,” has appeared on the Great [...]

  • Dear Evan Hansen Jordan Fisher

    Jordan Fisher Joins 'Dear Evan Hansen' in Title Role on Broadway

    Jordan Fisher will be Broadway’s next Evan Hansen, joining the cast of “Dear Evan Hansen” in the musical’s title role. Fisher, best known to theater enthusiasts for his stint in “Hamilton” and playing Mark Cohen in Fox’s “Rent: Live,” will play the role for a limited 16-week engagement starting Jan. 28. “Evan Hansen is a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content