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Broadway Box Office: ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’ Improves Its Odds

Broadway musical “Honeymoon in Vegas” reported its highest sales so far yet last week — but it’s still got a ways to go if its box office tallies are going to catch up to the love the show earned from the critics.

Last week Broadway sales climbed across the board thanks to the long weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so in one sense, “Honeymoon” ($440,476) was just keeping up with a trend across Broadway. But during the same frame, the production also accommodated press seats and a heavily comped opening night, so clearly the show got enough of a bump in business to overcome that shortfall.

Now the question is whether “Honeymoon” can gain enough momentum to keep itself going throughout the spring, fending off competition from older favorites like “The Lion King” ($1,721,611) and “Wicked” ($1,684,664) as well as the new titles booting up in the coming months including “Gigi,” “Fun Home” and “Doctor Zhivago,” to name just a few.

Jake Gyllenhaal starrer “Constellations” ($432,399) also opened last week and climbed by almost 30% in the wake of largely enthusiastic reviews. On the other end of their lifespan, “Motown” (up 16% to $1,299,340) and “Rock of Ages” (up 10% to $492,533) both gained in their final weeks on the boards, while Sting musical “The Last Ship” ($838,274) stayed relatively robust ahead of its Jan. 24 closing. “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” ($692,620) also stepped up with Michael C. Hall’s final performances. (John Cameron Mitchell laces up the title character’s gold boots Jan. 21.)

“It’s Only a Play” ($693,963), the comedy that sold like hotcakes throughout the fall, continued to log numbers that were a bit more humble but still healthy now that there’s been a cast changeover (including Martin Short filling in for Nathan Lane). The show goes on a quickie hiatus this week while it moves next to door to the Jacobs Theater for a Jan. 23 start.

With most shows on the rise last week, Broadway’s cumulative total upticked to $24.4 million for 29 shows. Missing from the pot was the usual week’s haul from Bradley Cooper starrer “The Elephant Man” ($678,450 for five performances), which cut a few performances last week to accommodate co-star Patricia Clarkson’s filming schedule for “Maze Runner 2.” Overall Broadway attendance rose a bit to 236,545, or about 87% of total capacity.

Look for sales and attendance to remain on the more modest end of the scale for the next few weeks, with gains eventually coming from new shows starting up next month (including “Fish in the Dark” and “The Audience”) and from the late-February kickoff of the country’s rolling schedule of academic spring breaks.

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