Broadway’s ‘Be More Chill’ Breaks A House Record As Overall Box Office Hits $31M

Be More Chill
Maria Baranova

Update, with amended Lyceum house record stats Be More Chill arrived on Broadway to a big welcome, beginning previews and breaking the seven-performance house record at the Lyceum Theatre with a gross of $738,384, a virtual sell-out with 98% of seats filled for those first seven previews.

The strong performance – the Lyceum’s previous seven-performance record of $584,033 was set by Patrick Stewart’s Macbeth back in 2008 – reflected an overall good week on Broadway. (And for the record, the weekly best for an eight-performance week at the Lyceum is Oh, Hello, the Nick Kroll and John Mulaney comedy that grossed $804,513 for the week ending January 22, 2017; the same production holds the nine-performance weekly record with $911,602 for the week ending January 1, 2017).

Box office for the 29 productions tallied $30,511,551 for Broadway’s Week 38 (ending Feb. 17), a 10% boost over the previous week (along with a 9% bump in average ticket price, from $111 to $121).

Total attendance for Week 38 was 252,489, a 1% jump from the previous week, and 90% of total potential.

Star of the week was Be More Chill, which arrived on Broadway with its Off Broadway sheen still glowing. The entire cast from last summer’s sold-out run at Off Broadway’s Pershing Square Signature Center has made the three-block trek north. The musical by Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz, directed by Stephen Brackett, was, in fact, already a hit even before landing Off Broadway. Read how here.

Be More Chill began previews Feb. 13 and officially opens March 10.

Also beginning previews last week – Valentine’s Day, appropriately enough – was Kiss Me, Kate, at the non-profit Roundabout’s Studio 54. The musical, starring Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase, directed by Scott Ellis, kicked off its limited engagement (through June 2) with four previews, taking $376,097 for four previews, with 99% of the subscription-heavy houses filled. Opening night is March 14.

Some other Broadway notables:

  • Choir Boy, from Moonlight scribe Tarell Alvin McCraney, is heading into its final stretch with a March 10 closing date, and grossed $363,508 for the week. That’s about 60% of potential, with attendance of 4,758 filling 93% of seats at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Average ticket price was $76;
  • Anastasia, heading toward a March 31 closing at the Broadhurst, grossed $722,607, 65% of potential, with 7,985 in attendance for 87% of capacity. Average seat went for $91;
  • The Band’s Visit, with an April 7 closing, took in $627,247, nearly $100,000 more than the previous week for 61% of potential. The 7,665 attendees paid an average $82 at the Ethel Barrymore.
To Kill A Mockingbird
“To Kill A Mockingbird” Julieta Cervantes

At standing room only (or near enough, with at least 98% of seats filled) were Be More Chill, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Kiss Me, Kate, Network, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King and To Kill A Mockingbird.

Falling just short of SRO but in the 90%-plus range were Aladdin, Beautiful, Choir Boy, Mean Girls, The Band’s Visit, True West and Wicked.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $1,347,672,132, about 15% better than last year by this time. Attendance year over year was up 11% to 10,593,735.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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