Predictable as white sales and BOGO promos, Broadway made a hard landing after the Christmas-to-New Year’s high-flying, record-breaking stand. The Boss dodged the winter drafts and took the week off; Amy Schumer and co-star Laura Benanti skipped a performance of Meteor Shower due to plague (well, it felt like plague, I’ll vouchsafe); and Thursday performances got socked by an 8-to-12-inch snowfall that still didn’t keep undaunted Hamilton and Hello, Dolly! ticket-holders – and their committed casts – from showing up.
Indeed, some of the holiday glow remained and it was not a bad week at all given the challenges. Farinelli and the King, with the incomparable Mark Rylance, is drawing solidly at the Shuberts’ Belasco, taking the top spot among non-musicals. And if you thought centenarian-plus-one Kirk Douglas rolling up at the Golden Globes was a miracle, how about that Opera Ghost? The Phantom of the Opera scored $1.2 million in ticket sales – that’s 91% of gross potential for the charlatan of chandeliers, the rowboat roué who’s been holding forth at the Shubert Organization’s Majestic Theatre since Jordan Roth’s bar mitzvah.
Shows unloved by critics held strong: Anastasia, at the Shuberts’ Broadhurst, took in $1 million, 7% above potential, with average tickets going for $128.53. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, at the Nederlander Organization’s Lunt-Fontanne, was SRO and sold nearly $1.3 million worth of tickets at an average price of $107.51 as it winds down to closing.
Ayad Akhtar’s superb Junk ended its run at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont, while John Lithgow continued his preview run of Stories By Heart at the Roundabout Theater Company’s American Airlines. Watch for a continued slowdown and culling through the rest of the January-February drear.
The five top-grossing musicals were:
• Hamilton ($3.1 million at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers; $291.24 average ticket)
• The Lion King ($2.6 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $173.22)
• Hello, Dolly! ($2.2 million at the Shubert; $190.09)
• Wicked ($1.9 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $131.24)
• Dear Evan Hansen ($1.74 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box; 213.38
The five top-grossing plays were:
• Farinelli and the King ($814K at the Shuberts’ Belasco; $101.33 average ticket)
• Meteor Shower ($709K for seven performances at the Shuberts’ Booth; $140.27 )
• The Parisian Woman ($771.8K at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson; $108.10)
• Latin History For Morons ($497K at the Roundabout’s Studio 54; $84.52)
• Junk ($465.7 at Lincoln Center Theater’s Beaumont; $74.02)
Ticket sales for week 33 of the 2017-2018 Broadway season totaled $32.2 million across 29 shows, according to the trade group Broadway League, 9% better than the same week a year ago ($29.6 million). Average paid admission was $126.21, 11% more than a year ago ($113.65).