While The Lion King ($2.1 million), Wicked ($2.03 million) and The Book Of Mormon ($1.6 million) regularly duke it out for the three top-grossing slots on Broadway each week, they’re all hit musicals running in big houses. In the fourth slot for Week 4, which ended Sunday, is All The Way, which star Bryan Cranston, playing President Lyndon Baines Johnson, has led to a record-making run as he and the Robert Schenkkan drama prepare to end their limited engagement next week. All The Way took in $1.425 million at the Neil Simon Theatre — a cool 104.15% of its gross potential and a record for a non-musical in a standard eight-performance week.
In the fifth spot, according to figures released by the Broadway League trade group, was Kinky Boots, still a near-sellout at $1.39 million. It’s worth noting that All The Way and Kinky Boots, at the Hirschfeld, are in similar-size theaters of just over 1,400 seats.
Overall, Broadway was down slightly from the week before, with 34 shows taking in $29.75 million, versus $29.9 million the week before. If/Then improved by $71,883 to $873,965, indicating that audiences are cheering it on. The Tupac Shakur-influenced musical Holler If Ya Hear Me sold just $170,652, or 21.19% of its gross potential, papering the Palace for opening night and earning mixed reviews (though mostly A’s for effort). Jersey Boys was up $80,316, to $901,234 during the week that saw the weak opening of Clint Eastwood’s film of the show about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
The most talked-about news of the week wasn’t at the box office, though: It was Disney’s decision to announce an August closing date for Newsies at the Nederlander Theatre. Newsies, based on the 1992 flop Disney film, opened out of town in what was supposed to be the dry-run for a tour. But when the New York critics waxed enthusiastic about the show, it was fast-tracked for Broadway, where it’s been a solid hit, if not on the scale of The Lion King (then again, nothing is on the scale of The Lion King). Chalk the decision up to softening ticket sales and incoming competition in the family demo for the fall season.
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