Broadway Box Office All Over The Map Following Columbus Day Boost

There was good news, bad news and no news on Week 21 of the 2015-16 Broadway season, which saw a modest drop over the big Columbus Day weekend haul from the prior stand. On the plus side, 12 of 31 shows were at or near capacity, with houses filled to 90 percent or better. That included increases for newcomers including The Gin Game, with James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson at the Shubert-owned Golden, which opened to glowing notices and filled 98 percent of the available seats, improving to $345K or 51 percent of gross potential.

Another revival, the Broadway debut of Sam Shepard’s Fool For Love with Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman, also got love from the critics and was 91% full, though the subscription audiences kept the gross on the low end at $363K, or 54 percent of potential. Old Times, the revived Harold Pinter one-act with Clive Owen, Eve Best and Kelly Reilly, improved by $70K even though attendance was down slightly, meaning that more full-price ticket  buyers were following critics and word-of-mouth to the nonprofit Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre.

DAMES_v2Still in previews and working hard to catch on were the retro musical Dames At Sea, at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes ($205K, 35 percent of potential) and A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, with Matthew Broderick and Annaleigh Ashford, at the Shubert Organization’s Cort ($364K, 39 percent of potential). London import King Charles III, with Tim Pigott-Smith,  took in $470K for a seven performance week, 55 percent of potential at the Shuberts’ Music Box. And Allegiance, the new musical from George Takei with Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon) at the Shuberts’ Longacre, was at 86 percent of capacity and, at $468K, measured 55 percent of potential.

Among the hits, Disney’s Aladdin fell $84K to $1.6 million at the New Amsterdam while The Lion King, at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, was off $101K to $1.9 million. Hamilton, at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers, was off $199K to $1.5 million — still 11 percent over potential. The Book Of Mormon, at Jujamcyn Theatre’s Eugene O’Neill,  was down $70K to $1.5 million, 9 percent above potential.

The total take for 31 shows was $25.25 million, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League, a dip of 2 -1/2 percent from Week 20. Book Of Mormon had the highest average price paid for a ticket to a musical ($171.42); top price for a non-musical was $103.04 for The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, at the Shuberts’ Barrymore.

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