Since it opened in the spring, Tony champ “Fun Home” (which rang up $582,966 last week) has posted sales that may have looked relatively modest compared to the Street’s mega-earners. But they gain in strength when you consider that the show plays in one of Broadway’s smallest houses — and take into account the fact that the musical, about a lesbian cartoonist haunted by her father’s death, revolves around challenging subject matter that seemed far from a sure bet. Glowing reviews, buzz built up from a prior Off Broadway run and the Tony stamp of approval helped the production recoup its frugal $5.25 million capitalization in eight months.
Meanwhile, “School of Rock” ($956,818) saw its numbers pick up notably in the week following its opening. That was only to be expected, with far fewer comps to accommodate last week than during the previous frame, and the rise seems likely to continue based on the strength of the reviews earned by the family-friendly Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
The show that opened after “School of Rock,” “The Color Purple” ($696,030),declined compared to the previous week, but not by a huge number, given that last week encompassed the show’s press previews and opening night. Like “School,” “Purple” also looked poised to shoot up in the wake of the largely rapturous reception the musical received from the press.
Few of the gains or declines posted at individual titles were big enough to be notable last week, and the overall Broadway cume held steady at $29.9 million for 37 shows on the boards. Attendance upticked slightly to 280,228, with the average price paid per ticket — $106.58 — about on par with the previous week’s average. Business was strong enough to hoist “The Lion King” ($2,008,986) over the $2 million mark, with “Wicked” ($1,732,290), “Hamilton” ($1,639,634) and “The Book of Mormon” ($1,593,849) falling in behind it.
One show closed last week — “Fool for Love” ($250,127 for seven performances) — and one more, the latest revival of perennial favorite “Fiddler on the Roof” (holding strong at $1,047,622), remains to open before 2016. With that final opening out of the way Dec. 20, Broadway can look forward to the year-end bounty lavished up and down the Street by year-end tourism. Not every show will benefit — the lion’s share will go to big-title musicals — but for most of the individual titles now playing, the Christmas-New Year’s frame will be the most profitable of the year.