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Broadway Box Office: Sales Off 11% After Spring Break Rush

The week before last, the Broadway box office boomed. Last week came the inevitable dip out of the stratosphere.

After boffo business fueled by spring-break and holiday traffic, nearly every show on the board slipped last week as vacationers headed back to school and work. Musicals, particularly those powered by the family audiences that tend to turn out during spring break, took the heaviest hits, with drops of hundreds of thousands of dollars at everything from “The Lion King” ($2,136,093), “Frozen” ($1,752,038), and “Wicked” ($1,744,175) to “Anastasia” ($824,665) and “SpongeBob SquarePants” ($675,085).

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” ($1,701,110), which set a sales record last week, took a step down as it accommodated pre-opening press tickets, but “Mean Girls” ($1,382,096) bumped back up after its opening-week drop. “Carousel” ($1,054,700) opened last week, but didn’t dip too dramatically.

In general, the street’s new plays — the quadrant of Broadway least likely to be driven by tourist traffic — held up best. The much-lauded “Three Tall Women” ($812,601) rose, while both “Angels in America” ($924,408) with Andrew Garfield and “Lobby Hero” ($463,697) with Chris Evan held fairly steady. Led by Denzel Washington, “The Iceman Cometh” ($836,143 for six previews) continued to earn big numbers in its early performances.

Overall Broadway sales fell $4.9 million (or about 11%) to $37.7 million for 36 shows now playing. Attendance slid 5% to 311,621 (or around 90% of total capacity).

This week, Broadway gets closer to the final stretch, as “My Fair Lady” ($947,803) opens Thursday, “Harry Potter” bows Sunday, and a handful of shows follow the next week, all capped off by “Iceman.”

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