Broadway Box Office Dips To $26M; Daniel Radcliffe Returns To NYC Stage

Courtesy Lifespan of a Fact

Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannavale arrived on Broadway this week in The Lifespan of a Fact, pulling in solid box office for four preview performances during a week that saw most productions dipping or hanging steady.

In all, Broadway’s $26,309,336 box office total for Week 17 (ending Sept. 23) was down 8.5% from the previous week, with attendance of 223,438 off about 13%. Even so, about 87% of seats were filled.

The slips were due, in part, to fewer shows (27 productions compared to the previous week’s 29). Gone for good were Carousel, Gettin’ The Band Back Together and Spongebob Squarepants; Springsteen On Broadway was on hiatus (back Sept. 26).

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child donated 1,500 tickets on Sept. 23 to Lumos, the organization founded by J.K. Rowling to rescue children from harmful orphanages around the world. The contribution was apparent in the production’s 22% drop in box office (to $1.5 million, from the previous week’s $2 million).

The week’s newcomer, The Lifespan of a Fact at Studio 54, written by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, based on the nonfiction book about the convoluted publication of an essay regarding a teenager’s suicide, previewed with four performances, taking $476,531, a good 83% of potential. Attendance of 3,669 was 91% of capacity, with an average ticket price of $130.

Also in previews were Roundabout Theatre Company’s Bernhardt/Hamlet (at American Airlines Theater), starring Janet McTeer as the legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt, and The Nap (at the Samuel J. Friedman), Richard Bean’s comedy about the conniving world of snooker players. The latter pretty much scratched at $161,178, 23% of potential. Attendance of 4,731 was a decent 92% of capacity but with a meager average ticket price of $34.

Theresa Rebeck’s Bernhardt/Hamlet fared better, taking $308,873 of a potential $615,040. Attendance of 5,473 – 93% of capacity – reflected a $56 average ticket price for the subscription-heavy not-for-profit Roundabout.

Selling out (or close, at 98% capacity or more) were: Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (including the donated tickets), Pretty Woman, The Book of Mormon and The Lion King.

On the other end of the spectrum, Head Over Heels made a small $211,156, filling about 45% of seats at the Hudson, while Once On This Island at Circle in the Square, grossed $389,854, about 50% of potential. School of Rock at the Winter Garden took in $558,874, about 39% of a potential $1.4M.

Season to date, Broadway has taken in $601,573,692, about 15% more than last year at this time. Attendance of 4,673,411 – about 91% of capacity – is 4% over last year.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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