Broadway’s ‘Pretty Woman’ Tops $1M In Seven-Show Week; ‘Head Over Heels’ Totters

Andrew Eccles

Pretty Woman played seven previews to nearly SRO audiences and Mean Girls set another house record, but the Go-Go’s musical Head Over Heels just couldn’t find its footing as it opened to sales as weak as its reviews during Week 9 of the Broadway season.

Overall, summertime Broadway was anything but wilted for the week ending July 29, taking in a strong $39,633,285 in total box office. That’s a jump of nearly 8% over the previous week’s $36M, and a big 26% over the same period last year. 

Total attendance for the week was 295,685, a solid 95% of capacity and a 5% hike over the previous week. Those 295,685 theatergoers spent an average $134 for their seats, compared to the $119 average last summer.

The previewing Pretty Woman: The Musical, at the Nederlander Theatre, is off to a terrific start, grossing $1,068,493 for a seven-performance week (just one shy of a full eight-show week). With an average ticket price of $134, the musical based on the 1990 Julia Roberts & Richard Gere movie filled about 98% of its seats, with attendance at 8,003. The show, starring Samantha Barks and Andy Karl in the lead roles, has an official opening on August 16.

Also in previews is Gettin’ The Band Back Together, at the Belasco. Though attendance of 6,578 meant about 86% of seats were filled, the bargain per-seat average of $40 meant the band could only muster $262,256 for the week, just 34% of a potential $778,520. Gettin‘ opens August 13.

Head Over Heels, the Elizabethan-set comedy with Go-Go’s songs, opened July 26 to tepid reviews matched by box office sales: With an average ticket price of $48, the musical at the Hudson garnered only $320,745, a lowly 37% of a potential $871G. Attendance of 6,667 was 88% of capacity.

The other opener of the week was Straight White Men, the Young Jean Lee play at the Hayes starring Josh Charles, Armie Hammer and Paul Schneider. The 4,509 ticket-buyers filled 97% of seats, but average admission of $74 kept box office of $332,922 to just over half of a potential $638G.

Mean Girls, the musical comedy from the mind of Tina Fey, broke the house record at the August Wilson Theatre for the fifth time, taking $1,595,340 and playing to SRO crowds. Over at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, Beautiful, the Carole King jukeboxer, had its best numbers since Supergirl‘s Melissa Benoist took the lead, grossing $845,620, a 15% jump over the previous week as Benoist heads into her final stretch: She leaves the show August 4, with Abby Mueller returning to the role August 7. (The great Carole King herself paid Benoist a sweet goodbye with a July 27 curtain-call duet on “I Feel The Earth Move”).

Broadway’s 32-show roster included the following sell-outs (or near enough at 98% capacity or more): Aladdin, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Hello, Dolly!, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, Springsteen on Broadway (now on hiatus until August 8), The Band’s Visit, The Book of Mormon, The Boys in the Band, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, Waitress and Wicked.

Season to date, Broadway sales are $342,068,993, 16% higher than last year’s $295G. Attendance to date is 2,612,061, about 92% of capacity and 3% better than last year.

All figures courtesy of the trade group The Broadway League.

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