By Carol-Ann Rudy More than snow hit Broadway this week. The mid-winter blues have set in: attendance and ticket sales for the week ending...

By Carol-Ann Rudy

More than snow hit Broadway this week. The mid-winter blues have set in: attendance and ticket sales for the week ending Jan. 13 dropped by about 25 percent overall. Even the perennial winners Wicked, Jersey Boys and The Lion King saw dollars fall by 6, 5, and 21 percent respectively. Hurting even more was Mary Poppins by 23 percent. The good news? The much-anticipated musical production of Cry-Baby, based on the John Waters film, begins previews March 15 at the Marquis Theatre.

The official opening night is set for April 24. In case you missed the teen-themed movie, which starred Johnny Depp, it is set in Baltimore, 1954, and tells a story of “the baddest boy in town” and the good girl he covets. Leads James Snyder and Tony Award winner Harriet Harris will recreate their roles from the world premiere of the musical at La Jolla Playhouse last November.

The Little Mermaid’s box office returns dropped by 18 percent, due in part to “papering the house” with comp tickets to press and industry patrons on opening night, Thursday. Poor reviews since previewing also didn’t help. It remains to be seen if this Disney production will turn around to be another blockbuster on the order of The Lion King or a bust like Tarzan.

Gains, though small, were made by these productions, mostly plays:
A Bronx Tale up $35,753
August: Osage County up $57,348
• the musical Avenue Q up $29,404
Come Back, Little Sheba up $64,842
Is He Dead? up $12,566
November up $31,576
Rock ‘n’ Roll up $21,200
The 39 Steps up $96,081
The Farnsworth Invention up $2,439
The Homecoming up $30,994
The Seafarer up $56,645

The Color Purple suffered a precipitous drop in attendance, likely due to the exit of the lead performer, Fantasia. Attendance was the lowest of any of the 31 productions on Broadway at just under 46 percent.

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Broadway Gross Ticket Sales Week ending January 13, 2008
All data provided by The League of American Theatres and Producers

Production
(Theatre)
Weekly Gross Total Atten. Prev. Perf. Total Capacity Avg. Ticket Price Atten. %
               
A Bronx Tale
(Walter Kerr)
$294,854 3,830 0 7 949 $76.99 57.7%
A Chorus Line
(Schoenfeld)
$349,471 5,670 0 8 1,069 $61.64 66.3%
August: Osage County
(Imperial)
$603,293 8,583 0 8 1,439 $70.29 74.6%
Avenue Q
(Golden)
$367,582 5,467 0 8 796 $67.24 85.9%
Chicago
(Ambassador)
$377,829 5,556 0 8 1,080 $68.00 64.3%
Come…Sheba
(Biltmore)
$152,027 3,083 8 0 650 $49.31 59.3%
Curtains
(Hirschfeld)
$504,241 7,455 0 8 1,422 $67.64 65.5%
Grease
(Atkinson)
$564,954 6,655 0 8 1,072 $84.89 77.6%
Hairspray
(Neil Simon)
$552,541 8,160 0 8 1,428 $67.71 71.4%
Is He Dead?
(Lyceum)
$229,137 5,073 0 8 922 $45.17 68.8%
Jersey Boys
(August Wilson)
$1,172,218 9,812 0 8 1,222 $119.47 100.4%
Legally Blonde
(Palace)
$530,107 7,793 0 8 1,691 $68.02 57.6%
Mamma Mia!
(Cadillac Winter Garden)
$704,242 9,676 0 8 1,498 $72.78 80.7%
Mary Poppins
(New Amsterdam)
$834,991 11,670 0 8 1,791 $71.55 81.4%
November
(Barrymore)
$393,713 6,168 8 0 1,058 $63.83 72.9%
Rent
(Nederlander)
$265,191 5,151 0 8 1,181 $51.48 54.5%
Rock ‘n’ Roll
(Jacobs)
$467,113 6,879 0 8 1,074 $67.90 80.1%
Spamalot
(Shubert)
$659,488 9,596 0 8 1,441 $68.73 83.2%
Spring Awakening
(O’Neill)
$524,573 7,183 0 8 1,090 $73.03 82.4%
The 25th…Bee
(Circle in Square)
$218,471 3,993 0 8 684 $54.71 73.0%
The 39 Steps
(American Airlines)
$209,777 4,357 8 0 739 $48.15 73.7%
The Color Purple
(Broadway)
$388,937 6,307 0 8 1,718 $61.67 45.9%
The Farnsworth Invention
(Music Box)
$278,820 4,977 0 8 1,005 $56.02 61.9%
The Homecoming
(Cort)
$366,273 5,719 0 8 1,082 $64.04 66.1%
The Lion King
(Minskoff)
$1,024,955 12,156 0 8 1,654 $84.32 91.9%
The Little Mermaid
(Lunt-Fontanne)
$922,053 12,044 3 5 1,503 $76.56 100.2%
The Phantom of the Opera
(Majestic)
$646,082 10,493 0 8 1,607 $61.57 81.6%
The Seafarer
(Booth)
$297,402 4,740 0 8 780 $62.74 76.0%
Wicked
(Gershwin)
$1,400,269 14,181 0 8 1,809 $98.74 98.0%
Xanadu
(Hayes)
$173,750 2,723 0 8 596 $63.81 57.1%