It didn’t take long for one Jersey boy to take Broadway by storm, filling the void left when Jersey Boys shuttered in January after 12 socko years. Bruce Springsteen began previews of his solo show last week at Jujamcyn Theatres’ Walter Kerr and guess what? He didn’t displace Hamilton from the top-grossing spot, yet – but then again he only did five performances; give him another week (Springsteen on Broadway officially opens Thursday).
The rest of his numbers may pale in comparison to the gate at his usual hangouts, but the Kerr, with its 939 seats, is hardly your typical Springsteen venue. The concert rang up $2.3 million in sales, with an average ticket price of $496.72. In a very active week, it was one of four shows that moved more than $2 million worth of tickets, adding up to a whopping 30 per cent increase over the previous week.
Whether Springsteen on Broadway even belongs on the roster may be a matter of debate. It’s a special event and not likely to be eligible for regular Tony Award nominations, since it’s unlikely anybody connected with the show will want to spring for 1,700 comps required on offer to Tony voters. What’s not open to discussion is the electric charge this event brings to the whole Street, a juicy jolt as the fall season shifts into high gear.
Indeed, BoB was one of five new entries, along with Time and the Conways (opening tonight), M. Butterfly, Junk and The Band’s Visit. Say so long to 1984, which concluded its run at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson, with a $188K kick to $490.6K in its final stand. More good news: Come From Away, at the Shubert Organization’s Schoenfeld, officially went clean, recouping its $12 million capitalization after a semi-miraculous eight months, signaling a healthy box office beyond the obvious front-runners, and an average ticket price of $162.07.
The five top-grossing shows were:
• Hamilton ($2.93 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers; $272.24 average ticket)
• Hello, Dolly! ($2.35 million at the Shubert; $203.61)
• Springsteen on Broadway ($2.33 million at the Kerr; $496.72)
• The Lion King ($2.28 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $167.87)
• Wicked ($1.87 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $127.54)
Wicked, by the way, was up $450.4K over the previous week. Other big improvements happened at The Lion King (up $401.1K at the Minskoff); School of Rock (up $360.8K at the Shuberts’ Winter Garden); Aladdin (up $272K at Disney’s New Amsterdam) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (up $283.7K at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontanne) .
Ticket sales across 29 shows during Week 20 of the 2017-2018 season totaled $30.24 million, up $7 million from Week 19, according to the trade group Broadway League. Average ticket price was up to $128.31, from $116.92 the week before.