×

Broadway Box Office: ‘Great Comet’ Takes a Half-Million Hit After Josh Groban Exit

How much of a sales driver was Josh Groban’s name on the marquee at “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”? Looks like he was worth about half a million dollars a week, based on the Broadway box office numbers logged by “Great Comet” in its first batch of performances after Groban’s exit.

The big hit taken by “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” ($890,914) — down $518,963, or 37% — was largely expected, given the number of Grobanites that flocked to the stage door after his performances, not to mention the sizable dips the show had experienced at the box office in weeks when Groban was on temporary vacation. (He left for good July 2.)

The challenge for “Great Comet” now is to stabilize without a cross-demographic star (“Hamilton” alum Okieriete Onaodowan steps into the show later this week). The production should be helped along, at least, by the fact that Groban’s 7½-month run endowed the show with some name recognition, and the musical’s well-received number on the Tony telecast could also help keep business steady.

Meanwhile, Tony champ “Dear Evan Hansen” ($1,725,297) showed renewed strength. The title, which walked away with six Tony Awards including best musical, set a new highwater mark for itself, as well as a new high among Broadway theaters with fewer than 1,000 seats. (The Music Box, the current home of “Evan Hansen,” seats 984.) The trophy for best musical is always the most likely to move the needle at the box office, and “Dear Evan Hansen” has the added attraction of Ben Platt’s much-hyped, Tony-winning performance in the lead role.

However, it wasn’t just “Great Comet” that posted a decline last week — most individual shows on Broadway did, thanks in part to the mid-week July 4th holiday, distracting people with fireworks and long vacations. With “Hello, Dolly!” ($722,574) down below $750,000 thanks to the second week of Bette Midler’s vacation, “Dear Evan Hansen” muscled up to No. 4 in the Top 10, pulling ahead of “Aladdin” ($1,618,189) to land just behind “Wicked” ($1,920,520). “Kinky Boots” ($1,320,884) also upticked, still benefiting from the cast addition of Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie.

Except for a few other, smaller-scale rises, the majority of shows dropped — musicals from still-boffo “The Lion King” ($2,262,716) to “Miss Saigon” ($730,221) to “War Paint” (slowing over the last month, down to $601,174), to plays like “Oslo” ($669,470), “A Doll’s House, Part 2” ($450,676) and “1984” ($369,888). Overall Broadway sales dropped by nearly $3 million to $29.1 million for 30 shows on the boards, with attendance falling by more than 25,000 to 256,171.

More Legit

  • The Night of the Iguana review

    West End Review: 'The Night of the Iguana' With Clive Owen

    If Tennessee Williams is the poet laureate of lost souls, none of his characters as are off-grid as the restless travelers trying to make it through his little-seen 1961 play, “The Night of the Iguana.” Holed up in a remote Mexican homestay, its ragtag itinerants live hand-to-mouth, day by day, as they seek refuge from [...]

  • Moulin Rouge Broadway

    Listen: The Special Sauce in Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!'

    There are songs in the new Broadway version of “Moulin Rouge!” that weren’t in Baz Luhrmann’s hit movie — but you probably know them anyway. They’re popular tunes by superstars like Beyoncé, Adele and Rihanna, released after the 2001 movie came out, and they’ll probably unleash a flood of memories and associations in every audience [...]

  • Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac

    Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac to Star in Anton Chekhov's 'Three Sisters' Adaptation

    Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac are taking on an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” for New York Theatre Workshop in Manhattan. The company announced on Tuesday that they will feature two final performances to round out the 2019 to 2020 season, including the Chekhov play. “Three Sisters” will be directed by Tony award-winning Sam [...]

  • montreal just for laughs Comedy Festival

    Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival Is the 'Coachella of Comedy'

    Every summer, Montreal becomes the epicenter of the comedy world as the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival takes over the Canadian city. Now in its 37th year, the mindboggling scale of the festival is there in the numbers: more than 1,600 artists from across the globe (speaking English, French and other languages) performing 250 shows [...]

  • The dark Manhatten skyline, seen from

    StubHub Refunds $500,000 to Customers Shut Out by New York Blackout

    Saturday’s blackout in New York had an outsized effect on the city’s nightlife, with Madison Square Garden and the entire Broadway district seeing multiple shows cancelled due to the the power outage. As a result, StubHub has refunded more than $500,000 worth of tickets for cancelled events. According to a statement from the company, the StubHub [...]

  • Warner Music Group Logo

    Warner Music Acquires Musical Theater Indie First Night Records

    Warner Music Group has acquired First Night Record, an independent record label for West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings. The company will be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music Division, led by President Kevin Gore. First Night co-founder John Craig will join the Arts Music team under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theatre productions in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content