Broadway Box Office: Josh Groban Launches ‘Great Comet’ Into Orbit

Does Josh Groban sell tickets on Broadway? The answer is looking like a yes, based on the boffo first-week sales at the musical “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.”

Headlined by Groban in his Broadway debut, “Great Comet” ($1,131,919) topped $1 million in its first week of previews and landed at No. 6 in the week’s Top 10. The musical, a pop-opera retelling of one section of “War and Peace,” became a buzzy hit with critics in two prior New York runs and an out-of-town engagement, but even so, the show’s quirky downtown vibe and largely unknown title seems like a tough sell on Broadway.

Judging from the numbers from its first eight previews, however, “Great Comet” might prove an unexpected box office contender. Those sales figures are likely helped along by Groban’s fan base, as well as by an unusual seating chart that could tempt superfans to shell out for premium, up-close-and-personal seat locations.

Along with the cool million-plus that “Great Comet” added to the Broadway pot came notable earnings from concert “Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway” ($580,289 for just three performances), as well from “The Front Page” ($1,104,890), still robust despite its comped opening night on Oct. 20; “Oh, Hello on Broadway” ($545,028), gaining steam; as well as Cirque du Soleil outing “Paramour” ($1,060,597) and play “The Humans” ($651,897), both rising nicely.

Popular on Variety

The week overall was a good one for Broadway, with attendance up by more than 15,000 to 259,246, or 88% of total capacity. The week’s sales cume rang in at $27.4 million for 31 shows, up more than $2 million from the prior week, when there were two fewer productions running.

There was enough business to keep ten individual productions above the million-dollar mark, lead by “Hamilton” ($1,993,088) and, within spitting distance of it, “The Lion King” ($1,971,896). Almost every title saw sales rise compared to the previous week, particularly among the big-name tourist attracts that are usually the first to climb when attendance swells.

Two shows will open this week, with “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” ($702,992) looking healthy ahead of its Oct. 30 bow and “Falsettos” ($450,088) remaining relatively modest prior to an Oct. 27 opening.

More Legit

  • Grand Horizons review

    'Grand Horizons': Theater Review

    Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one, as you surely must have: A nice, all-American family is in the process of breaking up and trying to make this sad state of affairs seem funny in Bess Wohl’s Broadway outing “Grand Horizons.” After 50 years of marriage, Nancy (the ever-elegant Jane Alexander) and Bill (the [...]

  • Uncle Vanya review

    'Uncle Vanya': Theater Review

    Director Ian Rickson has had success with Chekhov in the past. His exquisitely balanced, tragicomic production of “The Seagull” (2007 in London, 2008 on Broadway) was well-nigh flawless with, among others, Kristin Scott Thomas as painfully vulnerable as she was startlingly funny. Sadly, with his production of “Uncle Vanya,” despite felicities in the casting, lightning [...]

  • The Welkin review

    'The Welkin': Theater Review

    A life hanging perilously in the balance of charged-up, polarized opinions: This courtroom drama could easily have been titled “Twelve Angry Women.” But playwright Lucy Kirkwood (“Chimerica,” “The Children”) is far too strong and imaginative a writer for so hand-me-down a cliché. Instead she opts for “The Welkin,” an old English term for the vault [...]

  • Tina Fey attends the "Mean Girls"

    Tina Fey Announces Movie Adaptation of Broadway's 'Mean Girls' Musical

    It’s good to be mean…the “Mean Girls” musical, that is. Producers of the hit Broadway show announced today that the Tony-nominated production is being adapted for the big screen for Paramount Pictures. The musical is based on the 2004 movie of the same name. “I’m very excited to bring ‘Mean Girls’ back to the big screen,’ Tina Fey, [...]

  • Freestyle Love Supreme

    Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda and 'Freestyle Love Supreme' in Exclusive Clip From Sundance Documentary

    Before turning “Hamilton” and “In the Heights” into musical phenomenons, Lin-Manuel Miranda could have been found on stage, spouting off-the-cuff rhymes with his improv group, “Freestyle Love Supreme.” After performing across the globe, the troupe — founded 15 years ago by Miranda, his frequent collaborator Thomas Kail and emcee Anthony Veneziale — made its Broadway [...]

  • Ariana Grande 7 Rings

    Rodgers & Hammerstein Are Having a Moment Thanks to Ariana Grande, 'Oklahoma!'

    Jaws dropped when it was revealed that the late musical theater titans Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were granted 90% of the songwriting royalties on “7 Rings,” Ariana Grande’s 2019 No. 1 hit. The dominant motif of Grande’s song is taken from “My Favorite Things,” the cornerstone of R&H’s 1959 musical “The Sound of [...]

  • A Soldiers Play review

    'A Soldier's Play': Theater Review

    Now, that’s what I call a play! Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “A Soldier’s Play,” now being revived on Broadway by Roundabout Theatre Company, packs plenty of dramatic tension into smoldering issues of racial justice and injustice, military honor and dishonor, and the solemn struggle to balance their harrowing demands on characters who are only [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content