Broadway ticket sales for the week ending April 20, 2008 held steady with a take of $18,791,333, a slight increase over the previous week’s...

Broadway ticket sales for the week ending April 20, 2008 held steady with a take of $18,791,333, a slight increase over the previous week’s tally of $18,543,795. While this is good news for in the short term, the amount is still below the same period from last season, however, the figure does not include a number for Young Frankenstein, which continues to not report its box office receipts.

Top-ranking productions in order were: Wicked, The Lion King, Jersey Boys and The Little Mermaid. Virtually tied for fifth place were Mamma Mia! and Mary Poppins. Wicked, The Lion King and Jersey Boys all generated more than $1 million in ticket sales for the week.

With just two preview performances under its belt, Boeing-Boeing grossed a solid $81,063. For Xanadu, it has been a disappointing week with box office ticket sales of just $161,901 out of a potential of $501,040 and attendance at a low of 55 percent of capacity. Which raises the question: how does one gauge the real success of a show? Do you only take into consideration the dollar figure of a production when comparing it to other shows? What’s realistic—and fair?

Often the percentage of capacity (the maximum number of seats available) is a reliable indicator when comparing one show to another. For example, Sunday in the Park with George is in a theater with only 1,004 seats, while the theater “Mermaid” is in has 1,518 seats. Another indicator is the average paid admission price for an individual theater. For instance, “Sunday in the Park” grossed just $455,710 this week compared to “The Little Mermaid” which grossed $971,207. You’d think that “Mermaid” was way ahead of “Sunday,” right? It isn’t. Looking at attendance, “Sunday” at Studio 54 saw 93.71 percent of seats filled. “Mermaid,” 92.26 percent – close. Go on to compare the average paid admission and “Mermaid” tickets are $86.68 while “Sunday’s” are $59.21. Not close at all. Play with these variables and you’ll see that the degree of success for each is closer than you think.

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Ultimately, a show’s success is based on the monetary bottom line, regardless of numbers of seats filled.

As for the line-up of shows coming in the 2008 – 2009 season on Broadway, look for “Pure Country,” based on George Strait’s 1992 film of the same name, to make its debut. Watch for casting, dates and theater to be announced in the coming months.

Get more rankings! Read this week’s top events article.

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Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
Week Ending April 20, 2008

Weekly GrossTotal Atten.Prev.Perf.Total CapacityAvg. Ticket PriceAtten. %
A Catered Affair
A Chorus Line
August: Osage County
Avenue Q
(St. James)
(Neil Simon)
In the Heights
Jersey Boys
(August Wilson)
Legally Blonde
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
(American Airlines)
Mamma Mia!
(Cadillac Winter Garden)
Mary Poppins
(New Amsterdam)
Passing Strange
South Pacific
Spring Awakening
(Studio 54)
The Country Girl
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
The Phantom of the Opera
Top Girls

All data provided by The Broadway League

Last Updated on April 23, 2008 by By Carol-Ann Rudy