The holiday season, plus a string of promising new productions, added up a to a nice boost at the Broadway box office last week as total receipts rose 8% compared to the previous week and easily outpaced sales from the same week last year.
A major factor in this year’s rising numbers are a handful of fresh titles that have become real box office contenders, like starry play “The Front Page” ($1,293,081), all the way up at No. 6 on the Top 10, and Josh Groban headliner “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” ($1,209,021). There’s also the snowballing success of “Dear Evan Hansen” ($974,983), up almost 30% compared to the previous week and coming within spitting distance of the $1 million mark. (Sources say the show’s healthy advance is getting close to $12 million.)
Another recent opener, “A Bronx Tale” (pictured; up 26% to $913,048), also made a strong showing, and a new musical based on an old chestnut, “Holiday Inn” (up 28% to $783,544), is doing unusually well for a nonprofit production at Studio 54. Meanwhile, Cirque du Soleil outing “Paramour” ($1,029,466) returned to the millionaires’ club on the strength of seasonal tourism.
Most individual productions gained steam last week, with some of the biggest rises predictably registered at the biggest of titles, such as “Hamilton” ($2,443,438) and “The Lion King” ($2,119,872). Eleven shows brought in more than $1 million each.
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Overall Broadway sales rang in at $31.4 million for 32 productions, up more than $2 million compared to last week and a good $1.5 million higher than earnings from the same week in 2015, when there were 37 shows running. Attendance totaled 277,699, or 87% of overall capacity.
To judge from previous years, the week ahead could bring a bit of a downtick as the street takes a breath before the Yuletide boom. Whether that trend is reversed by the current crop of robust new shows remains to be seen.