Broadway Box Office Climbs To $34M; Temptations Musical Hits $1.1M High Note

Ain't Too Proud
Matthew Murphy

Broadway’s Temptations jukebox musical Ain’t Too Proud sang to the tune of $1 million-plus last week, joining the upper reaches of a generally on-key 35-show box office roster. In all, Broadway grossed $34,204,242, a 4% bump over the previous week’s take.

Attendance for the 35 productions during Week 43 (ending March 24) was up a commensurate 4% to 298,672.

Opening to mixed-to-positive reviews, the full-titled Ain’t Too Proud: The Life And Times of The Temptations grossed $1,102,218, a $152,437 increase over the previous week – and that’s with opening comps and press nights. Seats at the Imperial Theatre were 99.9% filled.

The Temps tale certainly got Broadway’s spring off to a fine start, with plenty of other hopefuls in the wings. What the Constitution Means to Me, writer-performer Heidi Schreck’s Off Broadway smash now in previews at Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, played to nearly full houses — 98.2% of capacity, to be exact — and grossing $387,553, about 65% of potential but a solid increase over last week’s five previews. Ticket prices are still in the middling range — averaging $86 — but expect good word of mouth to work a lesson on this one. Opening night is March 31.

Also in previews, King Lear, starring theater’s queen Glenda Jackson in the title role at the Cort, took in $541,763, about 69% of potential. Attendance was around 83% of capacity. Although it’s an entirely new production, Jackson opened a Lear in London a few seasons back to rapturous acclaim — like Constitution, this King is likely just getting started. Opening night is April 4.

“Oklahoma!” Paula Court

Next to open is Oklahoma!, the buzz-heavy import from Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse, now in previews at Circle in the Square, pulling near sell-out crowds and grossing $487,373 for its first seven Broadway previews. It opens April 7.

Burn This, the Lanford Wilson revival starring Star Wars: Episode IX duo Keri Russell and Adam Driver at the Hudson, was yet another sellout, filling every last seat of its seven previews. With a $129 average ticket price, that tallied up to a $850,975, about 97% of potential. Opening night is April 16.

Anais Mitchell’s musical Hadestown, in previews at the Walter Kerr, kept pace with the other well-doers, selling out its first two Broadway previews (this one got started at New York Theater Workshop). Directed by Rachel Chavkin (she of the amazing Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Hadestown raised $235,394, a helluva 110% of potential with a $128 average ticket price. The show opens April 17.

Hillary and Clinton, starring Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow as them, played seven previews at the Golden Theatre, taking in $404,881, about 57% of potential. With average tickets at $78, 94% of seats had occupants. April 18 is opening night.

And finally, preview-wise, there’s Taylor Mac’s Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, the comedy at the Booth starring Nathan Lane, Kristine Nielsen and Julie White. After some postponements and a lead actress replacement — the original, Andrea Martin, bowed out on doc’s orders after breaking some ribs during a rehearsal — the dark comedy from MacArthur “Genius” Mac, directed by George C. Wolfe and, as of late, music by Danny Elfman, played seven previews to 95% full houses last week. With a $76 average ticket price, Gary grossed $392,644, a little over half of potential. Opening night is April 21.

So that takes care of the newcomers. Now some notes on a few other Broadway notables:

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child played only six performances, rather than the usual eight, at the Lyric to allow for new cast rehearsals. The largely replacement cast sold out all the same, grossing $1.4 million, with attendance at capacity;
  • To Kill a Mockingbird grossed $1.5 million, 123% of potential, with attendance at 102% of capacity at the Shubert, this despite a special $10-per-ticket Thursday performance for students;
  • King Kong saw a climb for the third consecutive week, grossing $802,074, a bump of $60,676 over the previous week, with attendance at the Broadway Theatre filling 77% of seats. Percentage-wise, the big monkey outdid The Ferryman, which filled 74% of seats at the Jacobs and grossing $564,472. The Cher Show filled about 82% of seats at the Neil Simon, grossing $882,909.

Sellouts for the week (or near enough at 98% of capacity or more) were Ain’t Too Proud, Aladdin, Anastasia (closing March 31 at the Broadhurst), Burn This, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Kiss Me, Kate, Network, Oklahoma!, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, Wicked, To Kill a Mockingbird, What the Constitution Means to Me and Wicked.

Season to date, Broadway has taken in $1,502,096,200, a 14% increase year to year. Attendance of 11,951,543 was up 12% over last year.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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