Broadway Box Office Cools As Tony Awards Races Heat Up; ‘Hello, Hamilton!’

Julieta Cervantes

With all shows off and running — or, in some cases, just off — by last week’s cutoff for Tony Awards nominations, to be announced tomorrow morning at 8:30 ET, Broadway attendance cooled down a bit at many shows.

Barn burner Hello, Dolly! pulled into the stretch with Hamilton as the Street’s big tickets: At the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers Theatre, Hamilton continued to lead the field with $2.78 million in sales for eight performances, at an average ticket price of $259.59 – despite a drop of $343K from the week before. Bette Midler’s Dollicious stand at the Shubert, meanwhile, which has been playing seven performances per week in the 1,427-seat Shubert Organization flagship, was up $654K to $2.1 million, with an average ticket tariff of $205.29.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on Broadway. Joan Marcus

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory pulled off a $141K hike despite some sourball reviews. The show, completely overhauled from its London outing, took in $1.15 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre – about 83 percent of it gross potential, with an average ticket price of $97.34 and near-full houses. As kiddie bait, it’s a good prospect for a profitable year and tours, even if it falls short of producing partner Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures’ hopes in the wake of its Misery and Bridges of Madison County also-rans. Warners still is looking for a hit to compare with such Hollywood-backed blockbusters as Wicked and The Lion King.

Speaking of Disney, The Lion King ($1.9 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff) and Aladdin ($1.4 million at the New Amsterdam) placed third and fifth for Week 49 of the 2016-17 season, making a witch sandwich with Wicked ($1.6 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin) in the fourth spot.

Among the new musicals hoping for a nominations boost, Amélie, at Jujamcyn Theatres’ Walter Kerr, was high among the needy, falling off $146K to $378K, less than 39 percent of potential. Groundhog Day, at Jujamcyn’s August Wilson, pulled in $755K, up $109K, to 57.5 percent of potential. Miss Saigon is underperforming at the Shuberts’ Broadway, taking in $873.4K, 59 percent of potential and off $113K from the week before. War Paint, the Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole starrer at the Nederlander, was off $41K to $1 million, playing to 90 percent of capacity in the 1,168-seat house.

Despite great notices, new plays A Doll’s House, Part 2, Indecent and Sweat struggled to attract customers, as did the Six Degrees of Separation revival starring Allison Janney and Corey Hawkins (at the Golden, Cort, Studio 54 and Barrymore, respectively). All of them need nominations and cash infusions if they have any chance of  surviving into profit.

Total gross for 36 shows was $32.9 million, down $3 million – 8 percent – from Week 48, according to the trade group Broadway League. Average ticket price across all shows was down to $110.73 from $113.94.

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