It’s too early to tell what kind of effect last night’s Tony Awards will have on the Broadway box office, but it’s not too soon to predict that “Hamilton” is going to have a heckuva summer. Last week the musical juggernaut hit its best-ever tally, logging a new personal-best in the days leading up to the June 12 Tony telecast.
“Hamilton” ($2,028,208) topped $2 million for the first time ever, putting it within spitting distance of Disney megasmash “The Lion King” ($2,071,899). Sales of that strength seem likely to become pretty commonplace this summer, since the tourist season brings an uptick in city visitors — some whom have certainly shelled out for the high price of getting into “Hamilton” — and since new tickets were released just in time for the awards ceremony.
Most of Broadway posted gains last week, with interest fueled by those summertime visitors and, in some cases, the flurry of coverage in advance of the Tonys. Among the individual titles reporting nice bumps were “Waitress” ($1,058,461), setting a new house record for a eight-performance week at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, while “School of Rock” ($1,082,064) continued strong, with producers noting that advance sales on Monday were about twice as high as they were last week at this time, thanks to the musical’s appearance in a prime slot during the Tony broadcast.
Also seeming likely to climb in the coming weeks was “On Your Feet!” ($859,596), which appeared on the telecast in a flashy, high-energy number. Producers of that one reported Monday wraps at 20% higher than the previous week. Musical revival winner “The Color Purple” ($672,299) stepped up nicely, and should be further goosed by its Tony wins and its showstopping Tony number, while new play winner “The Humans” ($484,407) upticked in the hopes of gaining further steam from its awards-season love.
“Bright Star” ($527,807), which has struggled to turn heads, took a nice leap up last week, and could see a further rise thanks to its Tony spotlight. Much-nominated “Shuffle Along” ($972,860) remained healthy, and Cirque du Soleil newcomer “Paramour” ($1,093,610) held onto its spot in the millionaires’ club.
“Blackbird” ($552,394) closed June 11 and hit the best numbers of its run, thanks to a flurry of last-minute business, while “The King and I” ($584,349) posted a jump likely fueled by the recent news that the production would shutter before the end of the month.
Overall Broadway sales rose about $1.5 million to $28.5 million for 35 shows now playing. Attendance climbed more than 6,000 to 280,991, or 83% of the street’s overall seating capacity.
In the coming weeks, all eyes will be watching to see which new shows will exert the strongest pull on summer audiences — and which title will see the biggest, most immediately bump from the Tony attention.