Halloween weekend is usually pretty frightful at the Broadway box office, what with all the costumes parties and trick-or-treating that keep theatergoers — particularly family audiences — from showing up for a show. But with All Hallow’s Eve falling on a Tuesday this year, festivities were spread across the weekend and early into this week — which meant the damage last week wasn’t so bad, compared to prior years.
Most individual shows still posted declines, but the overall picture, compared to the same week in previous years, looked pretty good. And some productions managed to hold steady, despite the overall downward trend — most notably “The Band’s Visit” ($872,688), which is maintaining the momentum it’s been building since Off Broadway’s critical fave began Broadway previews earlier this month.
Overall Broadway sales slipped about $2 million to $28.6 million for 28 shows, with attendance down 13,000 to 231,168. That’s a pretty strong showing, compared to prior years, with grosses pumped by high average ticket prices at shows like “Springsteen on Broadway” ($502 a pop, adding up to $2,383,080 for the week), “Hamilton” ($248, with $2,665,092 for the week) and “Hello, Dolly!” ($206 and $2,362,351).
Attendance looked fairly healthy, too. The 88% of overall capacity last week is a big step up from the 81% logged last year during Halloween weekend, when there were 31 shows running. In 2015, attendance over Halloween weekend was down to 78%.
The coming weeks, meanwhile, look poised to put box office on the rise. Broadway’s fall lineup has begun to kick into high gear — one buzzy new title, “Meteor Shower” with Amy Schumer, starts previews this week — and Thanksgiving, one of Broadway’s most profitable weeks, is right around the corner.