Broadway Box Office: Sales Climb 14% Despite Election Day Distractions

The many distractions of Election Day, including the spate of rescheduling it prompted as multiple Broadway shows got out of the way of Tuesday night’s main event, didn’t manage to hinder the Broadway box office last week. Total sales climbed 14% as nearly every show on the boards rose — and appropriately enough in a politically charged week, the top grossing show was “Hamilton.”

The election didn’t seem to slow traffic at theaters that weren’t dark on Tuesday night, with titles ranging from “Hamilton” ($2,452,746) to “Matilda” ($995,175) to “Fiddler on the Roof” ($760,739) all performing Tuesday night shows and still managing to step up significantly compared to the previous week. Also adding to the weekly pot was Kristin Chenoweth’s “My Love Letter to Broadway” ($1,003,265 for six) — which rang in at a million bucks even with just six shows — as well as “Wicked” ($1,752,417), which registered the biggest rise of the week at 22% (or $315,000).

The week likely got an overall boost, too, from the fact that Veteran’s Day made it a three-day weekend for many people, and New Jersey area schools were closed Thursday and Friday. Last week was also the immediate aftermath of a clock change, which for many years has coincided with a downturn in Broadway sales, leading many to believe the time switch was the root cause of a slowdown. But that certainly didn’t apply this year.

Previewing musical “A Bronx Tale” ($678,926 for seven previews) played to houses that averaged 93% of capacity, while new addition “In Transit” ($180,893 for five previews) launched at Circle in the Square, one of Broadway’s smallest houses. Even as it accommodated press tickets last week, the previewing “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” ($1,038,143) managed to uptick; the show opens tonight.

“School of Rock” ($1,061,975,” “Kinky Boots” ($888,131), “On Your Feet!” ($876,636) and “The Color Purple” ($695,669) were all among the shows to climb more than $150,000 apiece. The few dips last week were negligible.

The total Broadway cume rose  $3.5 million to $28.9 million for 32 productions running. Attendance stepped up almost 30,000 to 269,358, or 87% of overall capacity.


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