Record-Setting Start For ‘Harry Potter’ Paces Broadway Box Office

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set a Broadway record in previews with $2,138,859 gross for the week ending April 8, pacing overall box office for the week as Tony season kicks into gear.

Even with 300 seats at every performance selling for $40 or less, the two-parter at the Lyric Theatre became the top-grossing play in Broadway history. With four previews apiece of its first and second parts, it broke the previous mark of a bit more than $1.6M established by All the Way in June 2014.

Cursed Child will officially begin its commercial run on Broadway on April 22. The show took London’s West End by storm, scooping up nine Olivier Awards last year. The play was written by Jack Thorne, based on an original new story by Thorne, original Potter architect J. K. Rowling and John Tiffany. Rowling’s support of the stage rebirth of characters once thought to be in the past has helped spur interest in the show from its earliest days.

Among musicals, relative newcomer Frozen and mainstay Hamilton continued to set a high bar. Frozen racked up $2.275 million, about even with last week, still well shy of Hamilton, which brought in $3.142 million, seeing a sizable uptick during the Easter-Passover week, which was spring break for many students.

Mean Girls dropped 20% from last week, taking in $1.176 million, a fall attributed to the high level of comp tickets for press, which will continue to dent grosses this week. Today, though, following Sunday’s opening night for the film adaptation, producers report box office activity five times normal levels. That’s as hopeful sign of spring as any in New York’s unseasonable chill.

Angels in America put up a strong tally of 981, 172, up 5% from $933,031 last week. Its first part had three performances during the week, while its second part had four.

Total receipts for 36 shows were $42.59 million in Week 46 of the 2017-18 Broadway season, according to figures from the trade group Broadway League, up a percentage point from last week’s tally of $42 million. Average ticket price across all shows was $129.89, down from $131.46 the week before.

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