The usual mid-January slowdown gave the Broadway box office a chill last week, as a reduced slate and a drop in traffic precipitated tumbles at most shows — including big ones at shows like Gloria Estefan bio-musical “On Your Feet!” and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock.”
“On Your Feet!” ($683,442) didn’t experience the steepest decline of the week — that dubious honor went to “School of Rock” ($805,486), off 20% or more than $200,000 — but the 18% dropoff at “On Your Feet!” put the show at just 44% of its gross potential for the week and 58% of its overall audience capacity. That counts as a particularly tough frame.
But then, the weeks after Broadway’s annual holiday boom are usually among the slowest of the year, what with many potential ticketbuyers in back-to-school mode rather than in the theater. Another factor keeping overall sales figures down was the fact that Broadway Week, the annual two-for-one ticket initiative (which now runs three weeks), went into effect Jan. 17.
All that taken together means that the majority Broadway shows took hits of varying sizes last week. The rare few to buck the trend included ultra-hot “Hamilton” ($2,451,721), which upticked minimally, as well as the current season’s buzzmagnet, “Dear Evan Hansen” ($1,091,225), and “Oh, Hello on Broadway” ($804,513), which got a jolt of last-minute sales before it finished off its limited run Sunday.
Among nonmusicals, “The Front Page” ($1,037,308) starring Nathan Lane and “The Present” ($977,495) with Cate Blanchett both held strong.
With three fewer productions running last week than the week prior, the overall Broadway cume rang in at $21.7 million across 22 productions. That’s well ahead of the $16 million reported last year at this time, but that particular week in 2016 was hampered by the cancellation of more 60 performances due to a winter storm. Attendance last week was down more than 25,000 to 198,087, or 89% of the street’s overall capacity.
With one show closing on Sunday and one production — the Manhattan Theater Club’s well-received “Jitney” ($270,681) — opening, the Broadway slate will remain as it is for a beat, prior to the closing of “Front Page” on Sunday and the startup of “Sunset Boulevard” next week.