Shows based on two grande dames of rock might have passed the baton one to the other on Broadway last week, with Carole King’s Beautiful exiting after a long, glorious run at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, while Tina: The Tina Turner Musical -settled in to what promises to be a lucrative stay at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
But before the specifics, the overview: Broadway’s 34 productions on the boards during the week that ended Oct. 27 took in a total gross of $33,983,842, about 81% of what it could have done with across-the-boards SRO. The figure was down a tiny 1.2% from the previous week. Total attendance for the shows was 278,087, about 3% off from the previous week.
Naturally, some shows did better than others. Let’s bid farewell to the rapturously received Beautiful, perhaps the best jukebox musical ever created (or certainly the one everyone points to in defending the genre). In its final week – and having played 2,418 regular performances and 60 previews in its long run – the King musical grossed $1,209,465, about 122% of its usual potential. The show was SRO with 8,258 ticket-holders.
Beautiful has long since recouped its $13 million capitalization, with a national tour in its fifth year and worldwide productions. A film adaptation was announced of the show for Sony Pictures in 2016.
As for the relative newcomer, Tina was a sell-out, and with a strong average ticket price to boot: $133. The show, starring Adrienne Warren in the title role, grossed $1,371,009, a solid 95% of its potential. The musical remains on a seven-performance week until the Nov. 7 opening.
As I predicted last week, David Byrne’s American Utopia was back to the rafters at the Hudson after a heavily comped press week, grossing $910,606 for six performances, nearly $300Gs more than the previous week. The show was a virtual sellout, filling 99.6% of seats.
Other sell-outs (or nearly so at 98% of capacity) last week included American Utopia, Beautiful, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Moulin Rouge!, The Book of Mormon, Tina, and To Kill A Mockingbird. Ain’t Too Proud was ever so close at 97%.
Having a tougher time filling seats much beyond the 60% mark (if that) are magic show Derren Brown: Secret, Linda Vista, The Great Society and, especially, The Lightning Thief, the latter barely hanging on with 39% of seats filled and only 20% box office potential in cash registers. Though filling all seats, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child continued to slash its early-months ticket prices: a modest $77 was last week’s average.
Season to date, Broadway has grossed $713,561,605, down about 7% year to year. Total attendance to date is 5,927,886, off about 1% from last season at this time.
All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.