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Broadway Box Office Drops 10% To $30M For Week Without A Saturday Night; Blackout Zaps Most Shows

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With the plug pulled on its Saturday night, Broadway got zinged with a 10% tumble at the box office last week. While other factors entered the equation – there were three fewer shows on the boards than the previous week – the cancellation of 26 individual performances due to the Manhattan blackout no doubt took a hefty toll.

In all, the 30 productions grossed $30,566,474 for Broadway’s Week 7 (ending July 14), compared to the previous week’s $34M. Attendance was 243,260, a 16% drop from the previous week.

Helping keep the slide less steep was Dave Chappelle, whose stand-up comedy show at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre added $1,431,451 to the tally. Chappelle performed four shows of his two-week, 10-show stint (the cancelled fifth was rescheduled for Sunday, July 21), and though attendance was at 98%, the $1.4M gross was only 68% of potential (average ticket price was a weighty $244, with premium seats of $748 far exceeding all but the mighty Hamilton‘s $849).

With 26 shows cancelling their Saturday nights, 20 productions saw box office dips. Some anomalies:

  • Moulin Rouge! The Musical was among those without a Saturday night, but with six previews it was still one performance over the previous week’s five-show schedule. Director Alex Timbers’ adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 hit movie took in $1,489,076, 106% of potential for the six previews at the Hirschfeld. Opening night is July 25;
  • What the Constitution Means To Me played seven performances, down one from the usual eight but three more than the previous week’s four-show hiatus week. The $454,059 gross at the Helen Hayes for  Broadway’s Week 7 pushed Heidi Schreck’s play to the recoupment of its $2.5M capitalization;
  • Frankie And Johnny In The Clair De Lune, at the Broadhurst, saw a slight increase in receipts despite the cancelled performance. The revival, starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon, announced an early close of July 28, and grossed $261,356. That’s about $30G more than the previous week but still a paltry 25% of potential at the Broadhurst;
  • Also announcing its closing date was Pretty Woman, setting Aug. 18 for its goodbye. Despite Saturday’s no-show, the musical climbed a tiny $331 to $558,415, and filling about 79% of seats at the Nederlander;
  • The Cher Show is signing off Aug. 18 as well, and inched up to $699,570 last week, about 54% of potential at the Neil Simon;
  • The Lion King played eight performances despite the Saturday blackout: the Disney musical had planned on doing a ninth performance. The long-runner at the Minskoff grossed $2.4M.

In its final week, Burn This, starring Adam Driver and Keri Russell, played a full eight performances (the Hudson Theatre was one of four Broadway venues that stayed lit Saturday), grossing $897,621, a big $238G over the previous week. The Lanford Wilson revival was at 98% of capacity in its final week.

Joining Burn This on the week’s roster of sold-out productions (or nearly so, at 98% of capacity or more) for Week 7 were Ain’t Too Proud, Aladdin, Come From Away, Dave Chappelle, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mean Girls, Moulin Rouge!, The Book of Mormon, To Kill a Mockingbird and Wicked. 

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $241,107,105, down about 9% year to year. Total attendance to date is 2,028,666, even with last season at this time.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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