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Boffo holidays: Broadway ticket sales top $37 million
During the holiday week ending January 1, 2012, Broadway playhouses took advantage of their tourist-filled city. With many productions offering expanded nine-performance schedules and higher ticket prices to boot, cumulative sales for the street rocketed to $37.65 million.
More than 320,000 people filled theatre seats last week, and high attendance rates were reflected in stellar box office grosses up and down the Great White Way. Out of 34 productions, 18 passed the $1 million mark.
Once the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" had a particularly triumphant lesson to teach its naysayers. The production's ticket sales surged 67 percent to $2.94 million, breaking a Broadway record for single-frame sales.
The once-troubled musical was one of four shows to break into $2 million territory. Closely trailing "Spidey's" grand haul were "Wicked" ($2.71 million) and "The Lion King" ($2.44 million). Ending its limited engagement as planned on January 1, "Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway" also raked in a hefty $2.05 million for the week.
Meanwhile, in its final week with Daniel Radcliffe in the lead, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" stopped just short of a $2 million pinnacle, but still grossed a personal-best of $1.91 million. The show's Broadway run will continue with Darren Criss and Nick Jonas each doing stints in the role of J. Pierrepont Finch.
But the New Year did not bring good news for all productions.
January 1 marked an early end of the road for "The Addams Family" ($1.46 million), "Bonnie & Clyde" ($526,181), and "Private Lives" ($445,166). And by January 8, two more tuners will be down for the count: "Billy Elliot" ($1.45 million) and "Lysistrata Jones" ($326,500).
Despite receiving rave reviews from critics, "Lysistrata Jones" struggled to capitalize on the tourist-heavy holidays. As a result, producers this week announced plans to shutter the contemporized Greek comedy after only 34 previews and 30 regular performances.
The rash of closings comes just ahead of Broadway's notoriously difficult winter months.
Each year, as New York tourism lags after the holidays, cumulative ticket sales on the Rialto drop dramatically. For instance, Broadway closed December 2010 with a cumulative gross near $35 million, but by the end of January 2011, that cumulative had plummeted to just $12.5 million.
All data provided by The Broadway League.
Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
|Weekly Gross||Total Atten.||Prev.||Perf.||Total Capacity||Avg. Ticket Price||Atten. %|
|Bonnie & Clyde
(Circle in Square)
|How to Succeed...
|Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway
|On a Clear Day...
|Other Desert Cities
|Porgy and Bess
|Rock of Ages
|The Addams Family
|The Book of Mormon
|The Lion King
|The Phantom of the Opera
|The Road to Mecca