Broadway Box Office Off Again, But Amy Schumer Sparks ‘Meteor Shower’; ‘M. Butterfly’ Spreads Wings


A week that saw Broadway’s slide continue – all the Brooklyn fans staying home, no doubt, to watch the Dodgers in the World Series – and nearly every show down from the previous week nevertheless had a few glimmers of good news. Steve Martin’s new comedy, Meteor Shower, with its four-member cast led by Amy Schumer, took in $631K for five previews at the Shubert Organization’s Booth Theatre. Average ticket price was a sky-high $162.27, leading to gross sales of 5 per cent above official potential. The comedy still has three weeks to work out the kinks before its November 29 opening.

Director Julie Taymor had at least two reasons to celebrate: Her now iconic production of The Lion King, which took up residence at the Nederlander Organization’s Minskoff Theatre following its initial bow at Disney’s New Amsterdam flagship,  marked two decades of SRO business, not to mention countless foreign productions and tours. And her latest work, a revival of  David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly, at the Shuberts’ Cort, looks to be gathering steam, improving $49K to $577.88K or 61 per cent of potential, with tickets averaging $87.37.

At the Nederlanders’ Brooks Atkinson, solid hit Waitress welcomed crooner Jason Mraz with a $172.8K boost to $900.2K, 88.3 per cent of potential at $118.51 per average ticket, the best showing since songwriter Sara Bareilles’ stint in the title role last summer.

Bette Midler was on leave from Hello, Dolly!, at the Shubert, resulting in a $1.5 million cliff dive to $879K, 58 per cent of potential at $94.43 per ticket, taking it out of the Top 5.

The five top-grossing shows were:

• Hamilton ($2.93 million at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers; $272.39 average ticket)

• Springsteen on Broadway ($2.39 million at Jujamcyn Theatres’ Walter  Kerr; 5 performances; $505.20)

• Dear Evan Hansen ($1.7 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box; $213.61)

• The Lion King ($1.64 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; 7 performances; $138.65)

Wicked ($1.51 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $116.45)

Week 24 of the 2017-2018 season clocked ticket sales of $27.25 million across 28 shows, according to the trade group Broadway League. That was down $1.36 million from Week 23, or 4.8 per cent. Attendance was down sharply as well, to 224,654 from 231,168 a week ago and 241,117 a year ago. Average ticket price was $121.37, down $2.47 from  the previous week.


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