Broadway Box Office: Expanding Roster, New Fall Models Boost Bottom Line

Like shiny new cars in showrooms, the latest Broadway models have begun to raise their curtains as the 2014-2015 season begins gathering steam, evidenced by a 12% rise in total grosses over last week. Steppenwolf Theatre’s revival of This Is Our Youth, starring Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin, opened to rapturous reviews (not so much here) but soft box office, due at least in part to freebies to critics. Five shows are in previews, the most anticipated startup being The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, which had its first four performances at the Barrymore, taking in $288,614 (the potential was $439,376, but the number is strong for a non-musical with no stars).

Mia Farrow Press Conference Regarding Her Recent Trip To Central African RepublicTerrence McNally’s It’s Only A Play continued its extraordinary pre-opening run, improving $67,000 to $1.2 million at the Schoenfeld, according to weekly figures compiled and released by the Broadway League trade group. Commanding $143.61 on average per ticket, the price of attendance at the Nathan Lane/Matthew Broderick vehicle is even dearer than the Street-leading Lion King,  which took in $1.725 million, at an average price per ducat of $128.03. The A.R. Gurney two-hander Love Letters began its run with Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy launching the changing roster of stars at the Brooks Atkinson; looks like it will take a few weeks to find its legs.

Once rebounded a bit but is still playing to half-filled (or half-empty) houses at the Jacobs. Blythe Danner is back in town in The Country House, at the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway home, the Friedman; Deadline previewed the Daniel Sullivan production of Donald Margulies’ new play earlier this summer. You Can’t Take It With You is taking time to find its audience at the Longacre, where it rang up $543,000, or 47% of potential — but still, a $52,000 lift over the week before.

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