×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway Box Office Slumps 15% in Back-to-School Slowdown

The annual post-Labor Day downturn took a bite out of the Broadway box office last week, with overall sales dropping 15% as locals shifted out of vacation mode and city tourism slowed.

The biggest decline of the week came at “Hello, Dolly!” ($913,712), precipitated by Bette Midler’s scheduled vacation. Midler’s alternate, Donna Murphy, played eight performances, and brought in sales that were still plenty respectable — which may bode well for Bernadette Peters, another theater-fan favorite taking over the role of Dolly in January.

In the wake of Labor Day, sales were down at almost every single production, adding up to a $4.3 million shortfall compared to the prior week. That brought Broadway’s cumulative gross to $23.6 million for 27 shows on the boards; attendance dropped more than 17,000 to 220,403, or 84% of total capacity.

Still, that was a better than the same week last year, when the 23 shows running brought in a total of $20.2 million. Broadway, of course, has added three big earners to the top 10 since then: Tony champ “Dear Evan Hansen” (claiming the No. 3 spot in the Top 10 with $1,678,438), “Come From Away” ($1,270,214) and “Hello, Dolly!,” which looks likely to earn more than $2 million a week for the remainder of Midler’s run.

Two other shows from last season, “Groundhog Day” ($688,475) and “Bandstand” ($539,707), were on their way out the door, but any last-minute business wasn’t enough to counteract the street’s overall downturn. Both shows will get one more chance at a surge before they shutter Sept. 17.

 

More Legit

  • CAROL CHANNING HERSCHFELD. Actress Carol Channing

    Remembering Carol Channing: A Master of Channeling the Power of Personality

    There was only one Carol Channing, and her outsize personality was a source of delight to many fans — and imitators. Gerard Alessandrini’s stage spoof “Forbidden Broadway” had many incarnations over the years, including the 1994 edition when an audience member was selected every evening to come onstage and impersonate Carol Channing with the cast. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Celebrities Remembering Carol Channing

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bernadette Peters are among the slew of celebrities taking to Twitter to pay tribute to late singer, comedienne and actress Carol Channing. Known for her starring roles in Broadway’s “Hello Dolly!” and “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” the legend of the stage and screen died Tuesday at her home in Rancho Mirage, [...]

  • What the Constitution Means to Me

    Listen: How Things Got Scary in 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    For a decade, writer-performer Heidi Schreck had wanted to write a play inspired by her experiences as a teen debater. But over the years the show started to develop into something both urgently political and deeply personal — and things got scary. In the Broadway-bound “What the Constitution Means to Me,” Schreck reimagines her speech-and-debate [...]

  • Carol Channing Dead

    Carol Channing, Star of Broadway's 'Hello, Dolly!' and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' Dies at 97

    Larger-than-life musical stage personality Carol Channing, who immortalized the characters of Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello, Dolly!,” has died. She was 97. Channing died Tuesday of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Her publicist B. Harlan Boll confirmed the news. He wrote, “It is with [...]

  • 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    'What the Constitution Means to Me' Transfers to Broadway

    “What the Constitution Means to Me,” a buzzy Off-Broadway production that counts Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem among its fans, is making the move uptown. The play will come to Broadway this spring for a 12-week limited run at the Helen Hayes Theater. “What the Constitution Means to Me” is one part civics lesson, one [...]

  • Choir Boy review

    Broadway Review: 'Choir Boy'

    Honestly, I was afraid that “Choir Boy” — the sweetly exuberant account of a gifted prep school boy’s coming of age, written by “Moonlight” Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney — would be swallowed up in a Broadway house, after winning us over in an Off Broadway staging in 2013.  But aside from the odd set [...]

  • Jason Robert Brown

    Listen: How Ariana Grande Got Jason Robert Brown to Madison Square Garden

    Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown never expected to find himself performing onstage at Madison Square Garden. But he did — thanks to his pal Ariana Grande. Brown met Grande before she was a superstar, when she was in the 2008 Broadway cast of his teen musical “13.” The two have kept in touch ever since [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content