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Broadway Box Office Steady At $34M; ‘Sea Wall/A Life’, ‘The Prom’, ‘Be More Chill’ Fill Seats

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Broadway’s Be More Chill, The Prom and Sea Wall/A Life were at near-capacity last week, as the first two headed out and the latter had its official welcome. Together they helped Broadway maintain a steady total box office of $34M for the week of summer dog days ending Aug. 11.

Total attendance for Broadway’s 29 productions was 270,326, even with the previous week. Exact box office was $33,808,016.

Broadway’s most recent arrival, the Jake Gyllenhaal/Tom Sturridge double bill of solo one-acts, Sea Wall/A Life, opened at the Hudson Theatre Aug. 8 to rave reviews and 99% full houses. Box office receipts of $624,838 were down from the previous week, what with press and opening night comps.

Both Be More Chill and The Prom closed Aug. 11 after failing to grab any Tony Award love or box office boon. Both musicals saw last-chance upticks though, with Be More Chill, at the Lyceum, grossing $694,441, nearly $150K more than the previous week and about 80% of box office potential. Attendance of 6,992 was 98% of capacity.

The Prom took in $916,256 at the Longacre, a $100K boost over the prior week, with attendance of 8,308 at 99% of capacity.

In their own countdowns to closing, King Kong, Pretty Woman and The Cher Show – all shuttering Aug. 18 – mostly held steady with their previous so-so summertime traffic. All hovered around the half-way marks of their box office potential, with Kong (at the Broadway) taking $725,500, Pretty Woman (the Nederlander) at $641,808 and Cher (the Neil Simon) at $843,909.

Others from the spring’s roster of openers were a mixed bag. Beetlejuice at the Winter Garden continued to edge out the laggards, grossing $1,023,008, about 78% of potential with attendance at a solid 94% of capacity.

Tootsie, one of the spring’s best reviewed new musicals, hasn’t yet been as convincing with potential audiences, grossing $823,897 for Broadway’s Week 11, exactly half of what it could make at the Marquis. Attendance was 70% of capacity.

Two of the runaway musical hits of last season showed no signs of letting up. Ain’t Too Proud took in $1.5M at the Imperial, with attendance at 97% of capacity, and Hadestown scored $1.3M, with the Walter Kerr Theatre SRO at 101% of capacity.

This season’s whopper, of course, is Moulin Rouge!, grossing a huge $2.1M and selling out the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

With only four shows left in his Broadway run at the Lunt-Fontanne (the venue’s last in a summer string of short residencies), Barry Manilow grossed $966,953 for five performances, nearly 70% of box office potential, with an average ticket price of $156 filling about 82% of available seats.

Also nearing the end is the twice-extended Broadway engagement of Heidi Schreck’s What The Constitution Means To Me, closing Aug. 24 at the Helen Hayes, where it hit 99.9% of capacity last week, grossing $519,344.

Sixteen of Broadway’s 29 productions played to full (or nearly full, at 98% of capacity or more) houses: Aladdin, Be More Chill, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mean Girls, Moulin Rouge!, Sea Wall/A Life, The Book of Mormon, The Prom, To Kill a Mockingbird, What The Constitution Means To Me and Wicked.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $376,735,105, down about 9% year to year. Total attendance to date is 3,114,036, about 2% lower than last season at this time.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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