American Dreamy ‘Miss Saigon’ Lands With $723K Flair; ‘Sunday’ Hot As Broadway Box Office Softens

Joan Marcus

Saigon and Paris looked enticing on Broadway last week, despite a general dip in receipts across Times Square. Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of Claude-Michel Schönberg, Richard Maltby and Alain Boublil’s Miss Saigon played five previews at the Shubert Organization’s Broadway Theater, where it rang up $723K in sales, a healthy 76 per cent of potential. Nearly all of the 1,737 seats were filled, at an average price of $87. The show opens March 23.

At the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson Theatre, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park With George is looking hit-like, with both grosses ($1 million) and attendance at the 957-seat theater above the 95 per cent mark. Average ticket price at the Jake Gyllenhaal starrer was $140.42, making it a pricier hit than Glenn Close starrer Sunset Boulevard, at the Nederlander Organization’s Palace, where business was down $115K at the limited run, to $1.2 million, 72 per cent of potential, and an average ticket price of $130.78.

Speaking of stars, there were some big dippers in the slowish week: Disney’s Aladdin, at the New Amsterdam, was off $275K while still breaking the $1 million mark, and the Mouse’s Lion King, at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, yowled over a $331K drop to $1.5 million. Wicked, at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin, fell $248.5K to $1.5 million (all these shows still managed to fill nearly every available seat during this season of heavy discounting). Even Hamilton was off, by $298K at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers, while still posting a Street-leading haul of $2.8 million and average price of $264.10.

You want more stars? Sally Field, previewing at the Shuberts’ Belasco  in The Glass Menagerie, played to 90 per cent full houses for the bargain average price of $59.60; she opens on Thursday. Mark Ruffalo and Danny DeVito, starring in a revival of Arthur Miller’s The Price at the nonprofit Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines, were getting an average price of $97 per ticket at full houses in the subscription venue.

Newcomer Come From Away, at the Shuberts’ Schoenfeld, is banking on good word of mouth prior to its March 12 opening, posting $643.6K in sales, 60 per cent of potential and up a bit from the previous week. Sweat, at the Roundabout’s Studio 54, had its first preview, which was SRO, prior to a March 26 opening.

Total sales for 28 shows were $23.8 million, according to the trade group Broadway League, a 6 per cent drop for Week 41 of the 2016-2017 season. That’s still over $3 million more than the same week a year ago, when there were four more shows running. The story is in the ticket prices: Average price last year: $89.70. This year: $105.31.

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