Broadway Box Office Flattens But ‘Come From Away’ Is SRO

Matthew Murphy

Any doubt that feel-good Canadian import Come From Away would triumph over its modest Tony Awards showing (seven nominations; one win, for Christopher Ashley’s staging) can be put to rest. It had a rock-solid summer, with above-capacity attendance at the Shubert Organization’s Schoenfeld Theatre and no fire-sale ticket prices. This past week, even with a slight downturn in ticket sales (from just over $1.3 million to just under), the musical about airline passengers and crew diverted to a remote Newfoundland town in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks had the highest SRO number of any show. At 101.9 per cent, attendance edged out blockbusters like Hamilton (101.76 per cent), The Book of Mormon (101.72 per cent) and Dear Evan Hansen (101.56 per cent). Average ticket price for CFA was $152.24.

That was about the only good news in a week that saw Broadway ticket sales fall slightly in the usual Yom Kippur  dip, with the Jewish High Holy Day having an impact on three of the week’s eight performance slots: Friday and Saturday evening and Saturday matinée. Add to that the hiatus status of War Paint (returning this week after a one-week shut-down), pulling another chunk out of the big till, and it’s no surprise the total for the 24-show roster was down from the previous week, according to figures supplied by the trade group Broadway League.

The five top-grossing shows were:

• Hamilton ($2.94 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers; $273.54 average ticket)

• Hello, Dolly! ($2.31 million at the Shubert; $199.25)

• The Lion King ($1.87 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $138.32)

• Dear Evan Hansen ($1.68 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box; $210.17)

• Wicked ($1.42 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $111.88)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Joan Marcus

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontanne, took the week’s biggest tumble, falling $109.6K to $558.6K, 40 per cent of gross potential. The biggest gainer was Kinky Boots, up $71K to $766K at Jujamcyn Theatre’s Hirschfeld.

Ticket sales for 24 shows during Week 19 of the 2017-2018 season  totaled $23.2 million, down $785.6K (3 per cent) from Week 18. Average price was up, to $116.92 from $116.23. Season to date totals were revealing: Grosses were up 20 per cent over a year ago, while attendance was up just 6.7 per cent.

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