×

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.

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.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • The Sound Inside review

    Broadway Review: 'The Sound Inside' Starring Mary-Louise Parker

    Mary-Louise Parker will take your breath away with her deeply felt and sensitively drawn portrait of a tenured Yale professor who treasures great literature, but has made no room in her life for someone to share that love with. The other thesp in this two-hander is Will Hochman, endearing in the supportive role of a [...]

  • Little Shop of Horrors review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Little Shop of Horrors'

    With its strains of kitschy doo-wop and its sci-fi B-movie inspirations, the quaint 1982 musical “Little Shop of Horrors” hardly seems a thing of modern-day revivalism, even despite its touches of S&M. Yet this year alone, not only is there an Off Broadway production of the blackly comic “Little Shop” featuring Jonathan Groff of Netflix’s [...]

  • The Lightning Thief review musical

    Broadway Review: 'The Lightning Thief,' The Musical

    “It’s a lot to take in right now,” says Percy Jackson, the teen hero of “The Lightning Thief,” the kid-centric fantasy musical (based on the popular Y.A. novel) that’s now on Broadway after touring the country and playing an Off Broadway run. You could say that’s a bit of an understatement from contemporary teen Percy [...]

  • The Rose Tattoo review

    Broadway Review: 'The Rose Tattoo' Starring Marisa Tomei

    “The Rose Tattoo” is what happens when a poet writes a comedy — something strange, but kind of lovely. The same might be said of director Trip Cullman’s production: Strange, if not exactly lovely. Even Marisa Tomei, so physically delicate and expressively refined, seems an odd choice to play the lusty and passionate protagonist, Serafina [...]

  • Obit-Roy-B

    Former NATO President Roy B. White Dies at 93

    Roy B. White, former president and chairman of the National Association of Theater Owners, died of natural causes Oct. 11 in Naples, Fla. He was 93. White ran the 100-screen independent theater circuit, Mid–States Theaters Inc. In addition to his career, he did extensive work on behalf of charities and non-profits. He was vice president [...]

  • Soft Power review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Soft Power'

    The “culture-clash musical” is a familiar template, in which a white American protagonist — waving the flag of individuality, optimism and freedom — trumps and tramps over the complexities of that which is foreign, challenging or “other.” David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s “Soft Power,” the new “play with a musical” at Off Broadway’s Public [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content