UPDATE 4:15 P.M.: With more numbers, below.
The stars have begun to align on Broadway and the big winners are new plays in the box-office ring: In one corner, Bruce Willis, making his Main Stem debut in William Goldman’s adaptation of Stephen King‘s thriller Misery. In the other corner, Al Pacino, bringing in a David Mamet premiere, China Doll.
Both shows are in previews at Shubert Organization-owned theaters: China Doll at the 1,069-seat Schoenfeld, where the first six outings took in $1 million or 12 percent above its gross potential of $957K. The show had an average per-ticket price of $166.37 — second only to The Book Of Mormon at $170.01. Misery is at the 1,182-seat Broadhurst, where the first four previews took in $623K, registering 4 percent above the $600K potential and an average per-ticket price of $134.63.
Pacino, who proved with the 2012 revival of Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross that fans will follow him and pay top dollar even when the production is only so-so, comes with a top premium ticket price of $350. Willis, on the other hand, brings a more modest top premium ticket price of $297.
With eight shows previewing and one departure (Amazing Grace), the overall Broadway box office for Week 22 of the 2015-2016 season was up 8.5 percent for 34 shows, to $27.4 million, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League.
Shows boasting significant improvement over the previous week included King Charles III, still previewing at the Shuberts’ Music Box, up $81.4K to $552K, and On Your Feet!, the new tuner about Gloria and Emilio Estefan, at the Nederlander Organization’s Marquis, up $192K with a full week of performances and hitting 63 percent of its $1.73 million gross potential. The Gin Game revival, starring James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson, was up an impressive $102.2K to $447K at the Shuberts’ Golden Theatre.
A few shows slipped, among them: Disney’s Aladdin was off $57.3k but still managed to take in $1.5 million at the flagship New Amsterdam. Kinky Boots, at Jujamcyn’s Al Hirschfeld, was off $39.7K, and Wicked was down $99.6K at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin, while still ringing up $1.62 million.