The Broadway box office continued its late-August deflation last week as nearly every show on the boards saw sales decline — except for a few productions including “Finding Neverland,” which got a surge of last-minute sales before it shuttered Sunday.
“Finding Neverland” ($720,603) climbed by some $90,000 (or about 15%) compared to the prior week, playing to houses that averaged about 80% of capacity. The production (pictured above with its original Broadway stars Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer) didn’t recoup before it closed Aug. 21 — in May, it had reportedly made back about 60% of its $15.2 million capitalization — but producer Harvey Weinstein has an ambitious plan in place to move the property into profitability. There’s a national tour, a West End run, an Asia engagement and an in-the-works movie version all on the way.
Among the very few other shows not to take a fall last week was “Hamilton” ($2,065,377), which rose only a little — but enough to push Broadway’s newest megahit into the No. 1 spot in the Top 10, edging ahead of “The Lion King” ($2,048,009). Like other big-name musicals including “Wicked” ($1,575,605), “Lion King” registered one of the steepest drops of the week, since it’s those now-declining tourists audiences who have helped propel sales so strongly over the busier hot-weather weeks.
Meanwhile, “Les Miserables” ($1,039,755) held steady, helped along by theatergoers looking to catch the show before it shutters Sept. 4. Ditto “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” ($470,403), also closing that day. “Fun Home” ($374,432) and “An Act of God” ($300,226 for seven, one fewer than the prior week) will also both close early next month, and last week each downticked just a bit.
Many individuals shows registered unremarkable downgrades, but some drops were larger, as at a few middle-of-the-chart shows such as “The Color Purple” ($609,638) and “The Humans” ($502,873), two Tony winners that slid by more than $100,000 each last week.
Overall Broadway sales fell $1.4 million to $23 million for 26 shows on the boards, while attendance slipped by about 9,000. It’s a downward slope that’s likely to continue in the coming weeks as Labor Day approaches and more shows continue to close.