Broadway Box Office Slips Again; ‘Blackbird’ & ‘The Humans’ Return New Dramas To The Boards

The Humans Play
Photo: Joan Marcus

Performance schedules were back to normal on Broadway last week — and so was the ongoing winter slowdown, as most shows continued to slide, perhaps with people staying away from matinees on Super Bowl Sunday. Finding Neverland, the Peter Pan origin musical at the Nederlander Organization’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, took the biggest hit, falling $167.5K from the week before. Other shows dropping more than $100K were Fiddler On The Roof, at the Shubert Organization’s Broadway Theatre (down $103.4K); Jersey Boys, at Jujamcyn Theatres’ August Wilson (off $106K); Les Miserables, at the Shuberts’ Imperial (down $109.8K); and Matilda, at the Shubert (down $138.2K).

So what’s the good news? Week 37 of the 2015-16 season brought the second of two new dramas to the boards, both of which previously were staged off-Broadway and come armed with critical acclaim Blackbird, David Harrower’s electrifying sexual horror tale starring Jeff Daniels (reprising from the original Manhattan Theatre Club production along with director Joe Mantello) and Michelle Williams, is previewing at the Shuberts’ Belasco, opening March 10. And Stephen Karam’s The Humans, seen earlier this season at the Roundabout, reopens at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes with its marvelous ensemble (Reed Birney, Cassie Beck, Jayne Houdyshell, Arian Moayed, Sarah Steele and Laurie Klein, also under Mantello’s direction) intact. Blackbird took in $157K and filled 90 percent of the Belasco’s seats. The Humans, in its second week of previews, took in $236.7K and filled 83 percent of the Hayes’ seats — good signs.

Hamilton remained the top-selling show, taking in $1.77 million at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers, and also commanded the highest average ticket price, $164.81, surpassing The Book Of Mormon‘s $147.46

Total box office take for the week that ended Sunday was $21 million for 29 shows, according to figures released by the trade group Broadway League. That was $2.6 million down from the previous week, an 11 percent drop (although it was 12 percent up from the same week a year ago). Season-to-date totals are down slightly — less than half a percentage point — from a year ago.

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