Broadway’s bleak mid-winter wasn’t too bleak after all, despite an overall drop at the box office last week. Several hits still did hit-show business and a smaller roster, as long-runs departed to make way for spring blossoms, still managed to sell better than 90 per cent of the available tickets. Three shows closed up shop, notably Jersey Boys, which ended its sensational 12-year, 4,642 performance run at Jujamcyn’s August Wilson Theatre, with two weeks of SRO performances, both topping $1.3 million in ticket sales.
Two more big bows: The Humans, which producer Scott Rudin moved from its Roundabout Theatre Company off-Broadway debut to Tony-winning, profitable runs first at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes and then at the Shubert Organization’s Gerald Schoenfeld, welcomed Bill and Hillary Clinton in its final hours. And the Roundabout’s Holiday Inn bowed out with a live-streamed performance from Studio 54, telecast by BroadwayHD.com the day before its final curtain.
Several shows improved during Week 34 of the 2016-2017 season: Cate Blanchett’s Broadway debut in The Present, at the Shuberts’ Ethel Barrymore, was up $101.4K to $1 million and 96 per cent of gross potential. Oh, Hello On Broadway, at the Shuberts’ Lyceum, was up $56K to $762.6K, selling out and recouping its $2.9 million capitalization. A Bronx Tale, at the Shuberts’ Longacre, was up $17.5K to $935.3K, 98 per cent of its potential. Struggling In Transit, at Circle in The Square, inched up $15K to $326K, 44.4 per cent of potential. The Front Page, at the Shuberts’ Broadhurst, gained $31.6K to $1 million, just shy of 80 per cent of potential.
There were some hefty fall-offs as well: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, at the Nederlander Organization’s Neil Simon, was off $139.5K to $895K, 62.7 per cent of potential, and School of Rock, at the Shuberts’ Winter Garden, fell $111.4K to $1 million, 66 per cent of potential. Lloyd Webber’s mainstay, The Phantom Of The Opera, fell $327.8K at the Shuberts’ Majestic, to $822.8 or 55 per cent of potential. Wicked, at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin, dropped $176.5K to $1.7 million, 94 per cent of potential.
Total Broadway box office for 25 shows was $25.9 million, according to the trade group Broadway League, down $3.7 million, or 12.5 percent from the week before but about even with the same week last year. Hamilton, at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers, was the top grosser, at $2.45 million, and had the top average ticket price of $227.90, with premium tickets now asking $549 at the box office.