Broadway Back Big Time With 22% Box Office Bounce; ‘Lion King’ $2M

With 31 shows running (including seven in previews) and only two registering drops, the Broadway box office welcomed Columbus last week with a lofty 22% increase over the previous stand. There were no extra performances added for the holiday weekend, but many shows still improved by more than $150K:

• Wicked, at the Nederlander Organization’s Gershwin Theatre (up $311K to $1.76M);

Matilda, at the Shubert Organization’s Shubert Theatre (up $207.3K to $869K);

Hamilton, at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers (up $197K to $1.68M);

Finding Neverland, at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontanne (up $182K to $907K); and

Aladdin, at Disney’s New Amsterdam (up $276K to $1.6M).

Among shows not in previews, only Hand To God, at the Shuberts’ Booth, showed a minor drop (down $5.6K to $232.4K). Dames At Sea, in previews, also was off slightly.

Average ticket prices also were up, not coincidentally, 5.5% over the previous week and 1% over the same week last season. The Book Of Mormon held the top spot, with an average price per ticket of $180.28; the closest competitor was Hamilton, with an average ticket price of $156.58.

Among the shows in previews, George Takei’s Allegiance had a solid start at the Shuberts’ Longacre, taking in $608K, or 63% of gross potential and filling 90% of the 1,057-seat house. On Your Feet! took in $970K at the Nederlanders’ Marquis, 64% of potential and 88% of capacity. In its second week of previews, the Dames At Sea revival, at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes, was off $35K to $194.6K, 33% of potential. King Charles III did $85K for its first preview at the Shuberts’ Music Box, filling 98% of the seats.

A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, starring Matthew Broderick and Annaleigh Ashford, tallied $398.7K in its first full week of previews at Shuberts’ Cort, hitting 43% of its gross potential. The Gin Game, pairing Cecily Tyson and James Earl Jones at the Shuberts’ Golden, took in $341.4K, down slightly from the week before, with critics performances cutting into the till.

Total Broadway grosses for Week 20 of the 2015-16 season were $26 million, up $4.75 million or 22% from the week before, according to figures release by the trade group Broadway League.

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