Hollywood wasn’t alone in having a lousy week as summer draws to an end. Ticket sales on Broadway have fallen 31% over the last five weeks, with a 7% plunge in the week that ended Sunday, the 14th of the 2017-2018 season. The imminent closing of three musicals – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 on Sunday, and Bandstand and Groundhog Day, both on September 17 – all but assures that things will get worse before they get better. Look for improvement when new shows set up shop and the season gets underway post-Labor Day and the Jewish High Holy Days.
There’s at least some solace in the fact that the $26.6 million tally across 29 shows was $5 million ahead of the same week a year ago, when the culling had reduced the Broadway roll call to 25.
Bandstand and The Great Comet, advertising final weeks, were the only shows to boast substantial gains: Bandstand was up $53K to $542.6K at the Shubert Organization’s Jacobs Theatre, with an average price of $83.41 reaching 54% of gross potential. The Great Comet was up $85.8K at the Shuberts’ Imperial, hitting $974K and an average ticket price of $108.40 to score 90.7 per cent of potential.
Michael Moore’s The Terms of My Surrender, at the Shuberts’ Belasco, has been playing to about 70% of capacity, with tickets averaging $62.13. Among the other non-musicals, 1984, at Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson, filled 58% of the seats at an average of $59.53 per ticket, taking in $267K, or 34.5% of potential. A Doll’s House, Part 2, at the Shuberts’ Golden, ticked up $6K to $198.2K, 28 per cent of potential, at $51.93 per ticket.
Two long-runs took the biggest hits: Wicked, at the Nederlander Organization’s Gershwin, tumbled $183.6K to $1.6 million, 90% of potential. And The Phantom of the Opera, at the Shuberts’ Majestic, dropped $122K to $915K, 67% of potential. Neither is in danger of closing any time soon.
The 5 top-grossing shows were:
• Hamilton ($2.96 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers; $275.52 average ticket)
• Hello, Dolly! ($2.2 million at the Shubert; $190.94)
• The Lion King ($2.05 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $153.12)
• Dear Evan Hansen ($1.65 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box; $207.54)
• Wicked ($1.6 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $120.47)
Total sales for Week 14 were down $2.1 million, or 7%, from Week 13. Average ticket price across all shows was $114.41, down from $116.06.