The Cirque du Soleil brand looks like a boon for the Lyric Theatre which, with 1,896 seats in its current configuration, is Broadway’s biggest house. A highly regarded name, familiar to a wide audience, is essential when you’ve got nearly 15,000 seats to fill each week. Cirque has installed Paramour, its first made-for-Broadway show, at the Lyric, purchased two years ago from Live Nation Entertainment by the UK’s Ambassador Theatre Group.
Paramour opens May 25, safely out of contention for this year’s Tony Awards but a positive factor in the grosses for Week 48 of the 2015-2016 Broadway season. The show played six previews and took in $1.02 million, 89% of potential, while filling a bit more than 93% of the seats at an average ticket price of $95.92 — all signs of healthy business.
Those numbers helped keep the overall box office even with both Week 47 and the same week a year ago, despite heavy comping of seats at two shows entertaining the press (American Psycho, which opened April 21 at the Shubert Organization’s Schoenfeld, and Waitress, which opened on the 24th at the Nederlander Organization’s Brooks Atkinson), and deep discounting at others. Now we’re into the week of reckoning, with the final four in the Tony tourney opening in the coming days: Fully Committed (tonight at the Shuberts’ Lyceum), Tuck Everlasting (tomorrow at the Shuberts’ Broadhurst), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Wednesday at the Roundabout’s American Airlines) and Shuffle Along, Or, The Making Of The Musical Sensation Of 1921 And All That Followed (Thursday at the Shuberts’ Music Box).
Disney’s The Lion King, at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, was the week’s top-grossing show at $2 million, with an average ticket price of $148.09. Hamilton, at the Nederlanders’ smaller Richard Rodgers, took in $1.8 million — 35% above potential, with a second-place average ticket price of $168.61.
Among the dramas, Blackbird took in $371K, 42% of potential at the Shuberts’ Belasco; Eclipsed $233.6K, 29% at the Shuberts’ Golden; The Crucible, at Jujamcyn Theatres’ Walter Kerr, drew $672K or 68% of potential; The Father, at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Friedman, $259K, or 36.5% of potential; and The Humans took in $378K. 65% of potential at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes.
Total gross for 37 shows, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League, was $27.12 million, dead even with last week and about half a million less than the same week a year ago.