Broadway Box Office Dips, David Byrne Doesn’t: ‘American Utopia’ Passes $200 Average Ticket Price

'David Byrne's American Utopia' Matthew Murphy

Broadway continued to drop a some box office winter weight last week, though no one seems to have notified David Byrne: The former Talking Head’s American Utopia was not only a sell-out but surpassed the $200 mark for average ticket price.

The priciest seat on Broadway after the blockbusting champ Hamilton, Byrne’s concert-style theater piece, heading toward its Feb. 16 closing, had an average ticket price of $205, comfortably beyond the show’s top non-premium $179 ticket, pushing the gross of $1,180,995 for the week ending Jan. 26 to 148% of its $794G standard potential at the Hudson Theatre.

Byrne bucked the mostly downward trend on Broadway last week, as total box office receipts for the 25 shows were down about 9% from the previous week, landing at $27,611,966. Attendance of 238,179 for last week’s roster, with two fewer shows than the previous week, was off about 4%.

Even with receipts for most productions slipping a bit in New York’s winter chill, the stalwarts continued to fill more than 90% of their seats: Aladdin, Beetlejuice, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jagged Little Pill, Mean Girls, Moulin Rouge!, My Name is Lucy Barton, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, Tina, To Kill a Mockingbird, West Side Story and Wicked.

Ben McKenzie, James Cromwell, ‘Grand Horizons’ Joan Marcus

Also playing to near-full houses were Roundabout’s A Soldier’s Play and Second Stage’s Grand Horizons, both opening last week. Press and opening night comps and subscription-rate tickets at the two non-profit theater companies kept receipts well below potential.

Broadway’s only previewing show was West Side Story, selling out and taking $1,598,211 at the box office, a solid 92% of potential at the Broadway Theatre. Opening night is Feb. 20.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $1,192,481,767, down about 6% year to year. Total attendance to date is 9,665,683, about 2% lower than last season at this time.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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