Broadway had its best Thanksgiving week in recorded history, grossing $43 million as house records and other markers were smashed like so many sweet potatoes. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child even set a new high for weekly ticket sales (for a play) with a big $2.3M gross.
Productions breaking house records were Frozen, Mean Girls and Network. King Kong had its personal best. To Kill A Mockingbird not only sold out its seven preview performances but scored more than $1 million in ticket sales in the 12 hours following a 60 Minutes behind-the-scenes segment on the play.
Box office for Week 26 of the Broadway season (ending November 25) was up 18% over the previous week, despite one fewer production on the roster (and a big one at that: Springsteen on Broadway was on hiatus). Attendance for the 36 productions was 299,235, a comparatively slight 2% increase over the previous week, leaving increased ticket prices to do the heavy lifting. On average, paid admission for Week 26 was $144, compared to $125 the previous week.
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By comparison, last year’s $39.08M Thanksgiving take — the holiday fell during Week 27 in 2017 — was 10% lower than this year’s whopping $43,043,266.
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Some notable showings:
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, at the Lyric Theatre, grossed $2,338,315, selling all 12,976 of its seats at an average $180 each. That beats its own previous top take of $2,277,446 from last June, meaning Potter has set a new Broadway record for weekly ticket sales for a play;
- Network, the National Theatre production directed by Ivo van Hove and starring Bryan Cranston, Tony Goldwyn and Tatiana Maslany, broke the Belasco Theatre’s box office record with a gross of $1,269,076, selling out and surpassing the previous $1.1M house record set by 2014’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris. Network opens Thursday, December 6;
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of the Harper Lee classic directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Jeff Daniels, was SRO at the Shubert, grossing $1,260,036 for seven previous performances. Producers say they sold more than $1M in advance sales during the 12 hours following the November 25 60 Minutes segment featuring interviews with Sorkin, Sher, Daniels and cast member LaTanya Richardson Jackson. To Kill a Mockingbird opens December 13;
- King Kong had its best week to date, grossing $1,203,259 at the Broadway Theatre. That’s about 74% of its potential, with attendance of 10,197 at 73% of capacity;
- Frozen grossed $2,319,013, breaking its own house record at the St. James for a third time. The musical opened last spring;
- Mean Girls set a new house record at the August Wilson Theatre, grossing $1,778,290 and breaking Jersey Boys‘ 2017 nine-performance high of $1,778,189;
- The Cher Show sang a tune of $1,044,193 for eight previews at the Neil Simon, with attendance of 8,238 at about 75% of capacity. It opens December 3.
Time will tell if The Prom benefits, dollar-wise, from the close-up it got during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Week 26 gross was $564,584, about half of potential. And while the figure shows a jump of about 40% over the previous week, that earlier week was largely comped with press and opening-night freebies. Producers tell Deadline they’ve seen an increase in sales and web traffic since the parade, but expect the real impact could show itself in the longer term.
In a special holiday-season engagement, The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays, took $942,563 for seven performances at the Marquis.
Head Over Heels took a small $208,221, just 23% of potential, with attendance of 3,552 at 46% of capacity, even with an affordable average ticket price of $59. The figures suggest producers made the right call today: The musical with Go-Go’s tunes but no Go-Go’s will play its final performance Sunday, January 6.
Season to date, Broadway has grossed $915,197,283, up 17% year over year. Attendance of 7,137,333 was up 8%
All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.
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