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Broadway Box Office Gets a Little Love From Valentine’s, Presidents’ Day

The double-dip holidays of Valentine’s Day and the long Presidents’ Day weekend drove the Broadway box office up nearly 20%, with date-night biz and long-weekend tourism helping to get ticketbuyers into theaters.

Couples and families turned out for the street’s big-ticket names, with the most significant boost logged at “Wicked” ($1,818,771), up a whopping half-million over the previous week. Family titles like “The Lion King” ($2,029,508), “Aladdin” ($1,504,445), “Anastasia” ($1,017,255) and “School of Rock” ($935,219) were also among the biggest rises, as was enduring audience magnet “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,016,060).

One show joined the Broadway lineup last week, and to judge by its first two performance, Jimmy Buffett could well turn out to be a draw: “Escape to Margaritaville” ($396,813 for two previews) pulled in close to $200,000 per performance, which at least indicates that initial enthusiasm is high for the island-getaway musical. Now the challenge will be to sustain that level of audience interest as the show heads into a busy spring season.

Hamilton” ($3,088,002) held its place as the top-selling musical, while Mark Rylance headliner “Farinelli and the King” ($751,969) remained the biggest earner among plays. Meanwhile, Bernadette Peters and “Hello, Dolly!” ($1,006,193) ticked up into the millionaires’ club as the show celebrates Peters’ official “opening” in the show later this week.

Overall Broadway sales rang in at $26.3 million for 25 productions now running, with attendance hitting a nice 91% of the overall capacity, or 213,716 theatergoers.

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