Broadway Box Office Slips Despite Pottermania, Simmering ‘Summer’

Joan Marcus

Overall Broadway grosses fell nearly 6% from the prior week, to $35,335,327, even though Harry Potter and the Cursed Child surged and Summer simmered in its debut commercial week.

Figures from the Broadway League for the week ending April 29 measured 35 shows, compared with 36 last week and in the comparable week of 2017. The industry is aiming to convert national attention around Tuesday morning’s Tony nomination to a lift at the box office. Season-to-date grosses are pacing 14.5% ahead of 2017 levels with three weeks left in the Broadway season. Much of the gain has come through aggressive pricing; attendance is up a more modest 1.5%.

Summer, the Donna Summer musical, had its commercial bow on April 23 and racked up $1.055 million for the week, a rise of nearly 10% from the $962,917 it collected in its prior week of previews. Despite having comps in place for press and awards voters in both of its parts, Harry Potter jumped 48% to $1.886 million.

Further to the bright side, spring notables like Mean Girls, Carousel, Angels in America and Three Tall Women came in even with their grosses in the previous week. But several bellwether shows like Hamilton took a tumble. The seemingly invincible historical spectacle came in at $2.823 million from $3.081 million.

A newer addition to the scene, Frozen, sagged 5% to $1.684 million.

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