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Broadway Box Office: Sales Down 35% in January Chill

The Broadway box office fell more than 35% in the wake of the Christmas-New Year’s boom — but really, it could have been worse.

Sales have always fallen off a cliff in the first week of January, in the aftermath of what is traditionally Broadway’s biggest-grossing week, and this year the week faced another potential hurdle in the form of a “bomb cyclone” that dropped half a foot of snow on New York City and even more in areas beyond the city. Plus, Bruce Springsteen some time off from “Springsteen on Broadway,” which meant that that show’s usual $2-million-plus take wasn’t going into the week’s pot, either.

Despite that — and the $18 million drop from $50.4 million to $32.2 million for 29 shows — things didn’t look so grim, with attendance down by 50,000 but still weighing in at 92% of the Street’s overall capacity (or 255,197 in total theatergoers).

A hefty chunk of Broadway’s top shows were still packed, or close enough, and earning plenty of money, including “Hamilton” ($3,132,598), “The Lion King” ($2,622,799 for nine), “Hello, Dolly!” ($2,206,170) and “Wicked” ($1,926,621). A full baker’s dozen of 13 titles pulled in more than $1 million apiece, including “Come From Away” ($1,286,045), the imminently closing “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” ($1,277,069) and “The Band’s Visit” ($1,056,889). “SpongeBob SquarePants” ($971,929) didn’t top $1 million, but nonetheless seems to be holding on to some momentum from its strong reviews.

With “Meteor Shower” ($709,510) down due to the illness of its headliner, Amy Schumer, the highest selling play of the week was Mark Rylance outing “Farinelli and the King” ($814,072).

One show, “Junk” ($465,747), closed, while a couple more — including “Charlie,” “Miss Saigon” ($1,057,337) and “Meteor Shower” gear up to go dark in the coming weeks.

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