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Broadway Box Office: Sales Off 7% in Summer Slowdown

Summer is winding down, and the Broadway box office is winding down with it: Sales in one of the last weeks before Labor Day slipped by 7% as city tourism slowed.

The majority of individual shows on the boards either held steady or posted declines. The few to rise significantly were benefiting from last-minute business before imminent closings, with the biggest boost logged by “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” ($974,280), which closes Sept. 3, up nearly 10%. “Bandstand” ($542,592), shuttering Sept. 17, lifted 11%, although “Groundhog Day” ($650,416), closing that same day, remained about steady.

Like “Groundhog Day,” other shows that held steady were — save for “Hamilton,” holding strong at $2,964,052 — largely newer additions to the slate, ranging from megabucks “Hello, Dolly!” ($2,198,977) to the strong-selling spring success “Come From Away” ($1,273,302) to plays like “The Play That Goes Wrong” ($328,979) and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” ($198,211). Among the week-to-week declines were everything from “Wicked” ($1,608,955) to “The Phantom of the Opera” ($915,495) to Michael Moore solo show “The Terms of My Surrender” (down 14% to $353,935).

One show opened — Harold Prince revue “Prince of Broadway” ($305,108) — and one, “Marvin’s Room” ($209,431), closed. Overall Broadway sales slid $2.1 million to $26.6 million for 29 shows, with attendance sliding about 15,000 to 232,301, or 83% of overall capacity.

With Labor Day on the way, cookouts and last-hurrah beach trips tend to beckon more than Broadway, although the shows on their way out the door will likely see a boost this week. After that, Broadway braces for the annual back-to-school slowdown that hits every year before the fall season gets up and running.

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