The new Jez Butterworth play began previews at Broadway’s underground Circle In The Square theater, with star Jackman immediately taking the lead for priciest non-musical ducat. Average ticket price for the 85-minute drama was $161.01 over three previews, raising $348,102 and beating the gross potential of $327,834 by a handsome 6.2%. The run of the Royal Court Theatre import — at 13 weeks, nearly as brief as the show itself — is slated to open November 16 and shutter January 25, 2015. The River displaced It’s Only A Play for the top per-ticket spot, but only by a few bucks, as that runaway hit comedy continues to sell out at the Schoenfeld. Among musicals, The Book Of Mormon remains unbeatable at $175.44.
Overall Broadway box office was down 9% despite the addition of two new entries to to the 34-show roster, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League. Fourteen shows were off more than $100,000 from the week before. The biggest hits were taken by Motown The Musical (down $257.9K), Beautiful (down $282.3K), If/Then (down $187.8K), Kinky Boots (down $161.5K), and Wicked (down $159.3K).
The sole gainer was Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-winner Disgraced, up $45.9K. The Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, toplined by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ewan McGregor, weathered middling-to-negative reviews with nearly full houses at the American Airlines Theatre. The Last Ship, which won almost unanimous applause for the score by Sting but less enthusiasm for the dark show as a whole, looks like a struggle for survival at the Neil Simon, where it took in $495K, shy of 40% of potential.
Total gross for the 34 shows was $23.5 million, down from $25.9 million the week before. Attendance was down 6%, to 239,269, from 255,078 the week before.