With the three-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend as a spur, the Broadway box office defied the January trend, pole-vaulting 27% over the same week in 2017 and even surpassing the previous week by 2%. All that despite some staggering nose-dives among the family-friendly crowd.
That includes Disney’s two shows: The Lion King was off $681K from the previous week at the Nederlander Organization’s Minskoff Theatre, while Aladdin, installed at the Mouse’s New Amsterdam flagship, skidded nearly a quarter-million dollars. It wasn’t a great week for Andrew Lloyd Webber, either: The Phantom of the Opera, tagging the 30-year mark at the Shubert Organization’s Majestic Theatre, fell a chandelier-swinging $371K, while School of Rock, at the Shuberts’ Winter Garden, was off $193K. Wicked, at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin, was off $280K from the week before.
A sizable chunk of the $7 million increase over the year before can be attributed to Bruce Springsteen, who’d taken the week after New Year’s off; his return to Jujamcyn Theatres’ Walter Kerr added $2.4 million back into the pot. Bette Midler’s farewell week in Hello, Dolly! at the Shubert was up $230K, while the Steve Martin comedy Meteor Shower and star Amy Schumer, at the Shuberts’ Booth, added $246K to its coffers.
In addition to Midler making way for Bernadette Peters to step into her red gown beginning this Saturday night, there were two other noteworthy departures: Javier Muñoz, the original replacement for Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role of Hamilton, bowed out after an acclaimed run, as did Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, whose closing despite continued good business in the $1-million club still left some scratching their heads, ended its run at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontanne.
The five top-grossing musicals were:
• Hamilton ($3.1 million at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers; $288.61 average ticket)
• Hello, Dolly! ($2.43 million at the Shubert; $236.78)
• Springsteen On Broadway ($2.41 million for 5 performances at Jujamcyn’s Walter Kerr; $508.68)
• The Lion King ($1.94 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $143.17)
• Dear Evan Hansen ($1.74 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box; 217.83)
The five top-grossing plays were:
• Meteor Shower ($935.5K at the Shuberts’ Booth; $148.07 )
• Farinelli and the King ($868K at the Shuberts’ Belasco; $105.42 average ticket)
• Latin History For Morons ($525K for 7 performances at the Roundabout’s Studio 54; $91.48)
• The Parisian Woman ($462.6K at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson; $71.46)
• The Play That Goes Wrong ($418.6 at the Shuberts’ Lyceum; $77.03)
Ticket sales for Week 34 of the 2017-2018 Broadway season totaled $32.95 million for 29 shows, according to the trade group Broadway League. That was an increase of 2% or $290K over the week before ($32.2 million) and 27 % or $7 million over the same week in 2017. Average ticket price was $132.30, up from $126.21 last week and $114.77 a year ago.