×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway Box Office: ‘The Front Page’ Stops the Presses With Big-Money Debut

It looks like Broadway’s fall season has officially begun, with four plays starting previews last week and one of them — “The Front Page” — leaping into the Top 10 at the Broadway box office.

“Front Page” ($921,998 for six previews) posted newsworthy numbers, raking in an average of more than $150,000 per performance, thanks to the combined appeal of a well-known title with a big-name cast. Star Nathan Lane (“It’s Only a Play,” “The Producers”) is one of Broadway’s most reliable draws, and here he’s bolstered by a starry group that includes John Slattery, John Goodman, Holland Taylor, Jefferson Mays, Sherie Rene Scott, and Robert Morse.

The numbers for “Front Page,” which played to capacity crowds, easily made the production the top-selling nonmusical of the week with just six previews. (Second place goes to another play produced by Scott Rudin, “The Humans,” solid at $621,203). When “Front Page” ramps up to a full eight-performance week, the production could become formidable indeed, should those per-performance numbers keep up.

None of the other titles to bow last week made quite the same showstopping debut, but “Oh, Hello on Broadway” ($247,237 for three previews, at 90% of capacity ) did relatively well. So did “The Encounter” ($325,531 for eight), all things considered, given that it’s an unknown title with a hard-to-describe concept and no big-name star. Manhattan Theater Club’s remount of “Heisenberg” ($267,064 for seven previews), meanwhile, started modestly.

Most individual productions on the boards posted declines last week; chalk it up to the usual fall slowdown, not to mention the ongoing U.N. General Assembly meetings that tend to gobble up hotel rooms and snarl city traffic. But the week’s overall Broadway total held steady, in part thanks to those new shows and in part thanks to “Hamilton” ($2,419,442 for nine), which added an extra performance and jumped by $260,000, compared to the previous week.

Total Broadway sales held steady at $22.2 million for 28 shows, with attendance slipping to less than 80% of overall seating capacity (or 217,238 theatergoers). Among other previewing projects, “The Cherry Orchard” ($355,242), starring Diane Lane, stepped up nicely in its first full week, especially given it’s a nonprofit production in a small house, while “Holiday Inn” ($359,828) played to 90% crowds. “Black to the Future” ($157,184), the once-a-week engagement for Lewis Black at the Marquis, did even better than the previous week.

The coming week brings the opening of “The Encounter” — and probably some very good reviews, based on the reception the show received in the U.K. — as well as another new addition to the slate, “Falsettos.”

 

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • David-Alan-Grier-Blair-Underwood

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood to Star in 'A Soldier's Play' on Broadway

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood will star in a Broadway production of Pulitzer-Prize winning drama “A Soldier’s Play.” The play, written by Charles Fuller, is set in 1944 and follows a murder mystery centered around the death of black Sergeant Vernon C. Waters (played by Grier) who is found on a Louisiana army base. [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Announces Broadway Cast

    After an Olivier-winning run in London, “The Inheritance” is gearing up for its Broadway debut. The two-part epic has set the cast for its transfer from the West End to the Great White Way. John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Andrew Burnap and Kyle Soller are among the cast members reprising their roles [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Announces 2020 National Tour

    ‘Hadestown’, the eight-time Tony award winning Broadway musical, is set for a national tour in 2020. The show will stop in more than 30 cities including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and more. The musical is a stage adaptation of the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Listen: Why Jake Gyllenhaal Is His 'Best Self' in the Theater

    Looking for the best possible version of Jake Gyllenhaal? You’ll find it onstage, according to the actor himself. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “I am my best self when I’m working in the theater,” Gyllenhaal said on the latest episode Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast, on which he appeared with Carrie Cracknell, the director of [...]

  • Photo: Jeremy Daniel

    'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical' Gets Broadway Run

    “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is Broadway bound. The musical adaptation of the franchise about a teenager who discovers he’s the son of Poseidon hits the Great White Way on Sept. 20 ahead of an Oct. 16 opening night. It comes on the heels of an extensive, nationwide tour that took the show [...]

  • Tom Sturridge Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Celebrate 'Sea Wall/A Life' With Star-Studded Opening Night

    A star-studded audience looked on as Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge returned to the stage for their double monologue performance in “Sea Wall/A Life.” Theater-goers and celebs including Anne Hathaway, Tom Hiddleston and John Mulaney gathered in Manhattan’s Hudson Theatre for opening night, celebrating a show tackling grief, birth and death through the eyes of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content