Broadway Box Office Finds Pre-Tony Groove At $35M; ‘Tootsie’, ‘Cher Show’ & ‘Hadestown’ Score $1M+

The cast of "Tootsie" Matthew Murphy

Broadway settled into its pre-Tony wait-and-see groove last week, with box office for most shows hovering just above, below or on par with the previous week. In all, the 37 productions took in $35.1 million for the 2018-19 season’s Week 51, a small 5% dip from the previous week. Total attendance was 310,574, a 2% drop.

The previous week, not so incidentally, had one additional production on the boards – Morrissey’s $1.9 million seven-night residency at the Lunt-Fontanne – which certainly accounts for a hefty chunk of last week’s $1.8 million drop in overall box office.

Also contributing to the week’s slip: Burn This, starring Keri Russell and Adam Driver, played only six performances (two fewer than usual) to accommodate Driver’s trip to the Cannes Film Festival to promote his upcoming film The Dead Don’t Die. The play grossed $177,919 less than the previous week, coming in at $676,047. The Hudson Theatre was 96% full for those six shows, though.

Stephanie J. Block, ‘The Cher Show Joan Marcus

Reporting a negligible slip was Temptations jukeboxer Ain’t Too Proud, still a virtual sellout with 99.8% of seats at the Imperial taken and a gross of $1,46 million at 101% of potential. Other season newcomers passing the weekly million-dollar mark were Hadestown at the Walter Kerr ($1.13 million, the third consecutive week of besting itself), Network at the Belasco ($1,02 million for seven performances), The Cher Show at the Neil Simon ($1.01 million), To Kill a Mockingbird at the Shubert ($1.61 million), and Tootsie at the Marquis ($1.31 million).

Frankie and Johnny inthe Clair de Lune, opening May 30 at the Broadhurst and so the first play eligible for next year’s Tony Awards, was up slightly — playing eight previews versus the previous week’s seven — but didn’t pull big numbers. The gross of $302,408 was about 26% of potential. The Terrence McNally revival starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon filled about 61% of seats, with an average ticket price of $53. Competing against this year’s well-publicized Tony nominees can’t be easy.

The week’s sellouts — or close enough, with attendance at 98% of capacity or more — were Ain’t Too Proud, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Kiss Me Kate, Network, Oklahoma!, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, To Kill a Mockingbird, What The Constitution Means to Me and Wicked. Aladdin came so close, at 97.2% capacity.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $1.79 billion, about 11% better year to year. Attendance of 14.45 million was up 10% over last year at this time.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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