Broadway jingled with silver, gold and holiday season tourists last week, ringing up $40M at the box office – a solid 6% jump over the previous week and a whopping 34% better than this week last year. Recent arrivals like To Kill A Mockingbird, Network and The Cher Show filled their houses, and even a specialty magic show added a million to the pot.

Not that there wasn’t room for improvement – the $40,149,570 total gross for Broadway’s Week 28 (ending Dec. 9) was just shy of 80% of potential revenue – but strong ticket prices and a healthy 38-show roster kept stockings stuffed. Total attendance of 314,249 was 87% of capacity, 5% higher than the previous week and 30% heftier than last year’s Week 28.

Chalk up a bulk of the year-to-year increase to more productions – 38 this year, 30 last year – but strong performances by the recent arrivals pulled their weight. The Cher Show, opening to mixed-to-decent reviews Dec. 3, was SRO at the Neil Simon, with a $1.1M gross at 74% of potential (the week included press and opening night comps).

‘Network’
Jan Versweyveld

Ivo van Hove’s Network, powered by star Bryan Cranston, opened Dec. 6 at the Belasco, filling all seats, grossing $960,415 for 88% of potential (again, comps).

Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill A Mockingbird, opening Dec. 13 at the Shubert, was a sell-out, with 11,600 theater-goers paying an average $114 and boosting receipts to $1,327,228, about 96% of potential.

Also opening this week is the very modest Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show, a song-and-banter variety show campfest starring American Idol rivals Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken and with more words seemingly in its title than coins in its coffers. The show, opening Dec. 11, grossed only $100,407 for five previews, about 12% of potential. Attendance at the Imperial Theatre was 3,704, just more than half of capacity, with average tickets at $27. A portion of the proceeds benefit the worthy non-profit National Inclusion Project, so here’s hoping for some holiday beneficence.

Another specialty production, The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays at the Marquis, conjured up $1,047,880, about 63% of potential, with houses 85% full. (Yet another specialty – Celebrity Autobiography, with celebs reading other celebs’ memoirs, also at the Marquis but on non-magic Mondays only – took the week off).

‘Torch Song’
Joan Marcus

Some other notables of the week:

  • Torch Song, the Harvey Fierstein play starring Michael Urie that posted an earlier than expected closing for Jan. 6, managed only $230,878 at the Hayes, about 36% of potential;
  • Pretty Woman is holding strong at the Nederlander, grossing $1.3M and filling 98% of seats;
  • The hard-rocking Springsteen On Broadway, heading to its Dec. 15 finish line at the Walter Kerr, was, as always, SRO, with five performances taking in $2.4M, its average ticket price of $510 far and away Broadway’s biggest. The Netflix film of the show debuts on the streaming service Dec. 16, finally offering the Boss’ Broadway bow to any and all…

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $993,152,638, a 17% jump year-to-year. Attendance of 7,750,993 is 9% higher than last year.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.