Broadway Box Office Flat As Bruce Settles In; ‘The Band’s Visit’ Toots $769K

Ahron R Foster

The Broadway transfer of The Band’s Visit – which topped many critics’ Best Of lists last season in its off-Broadway premiere at the Atlantic Theatre Company  – played to full houses in its first full week of previews. David Yazbek and Itamar Moses’ adaptation of the Israeli film, with a cast led by Tony Shalhoub (Monk) and Katrina Lenk (Indecent), took in $769K, 84 percent of its gross potential, with tickets averaging $104.84 for seven performances at  the Shubert Organization’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Also in previews: Julie Taymor’s Broadway return with a revival of David Henry Hwang’s Tony-winning drama M. Butterfly, starring Clive Owen, at the Shuberts’ Cort. That one sold $521.4K worth of tickets, average price $84.84, reaching 63 percent of potential and filling 83 percent of the seats.

Springsteen on Broadway opened at Jujamcyn Theatres’ Walter Kerr to rapturous reviews (except for one guy in Jersey, go figure), so its gross fell a bit, given press comps and opening-night freebies. The Boss still took in $1.9 million for five performances (his schedule for the run); average price, $409.97; and, of course, every seat in the 939-seat house filled.

The five top-grossing shows were:

• Hamilton ($2.93 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers; $272.55 average ticket)

• Hello, Dolly! ($2.37 million at the Shubert; $202.61)

• The Lion King ($2.07 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $153.32)

Springsteen on Broadway ($1.92 million at the Kerr; $409.97)

• Wicked ($1.77 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $120.86)

Most shows were steady during Week 21 of the 2017-18 season. There was some pain at The Lion King, off $198K, and Wicked, off $102K, but as you can see from the chart above, no significant harm to those durable long-runs. Total sales, according to the trade group Broadway League, hit $29.9 million, down $311K or 1 percent, from the week before. Average ticket price across all 28 shows was $123.89; that will rise again next week when Springsteen on Broadway returns to its buyers-only schedule.

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