With every segment of the economy affected by the falling of giants on Wall Street, it remains to be seen what effect this will...

With every segment of the economy affected by the falling of giants on Wall Street, it remains to be seen what effect this will have on ticket sales on Broadway. Variety predicts that “the repercussions from Monday’s meltdown will be significant” and goes on to say that private equity money to back productions is likely to disappear. It voices the opinion that mergers and acquisitions in the media and theatre sector will be “few and far between.”

Even before the shockwaves rippled through the stock market this week, several planned Broadway productions had been shuttered, such as “Godspell.” With all eyes on the market in anticipation of the next shoe dropping, not only will future productions possibly suffer, but some ticket sales might slump, too, this season.

But despite the doom and gloom emanating from the financial markets, this past week’s report is a positive one with gross receipts up to $13,763,550, an increase of $644,012 over the previous reporting period. It is also an increase of $532,233 over the same period a year ago.

Of the 21 musicals and five plays currently open on the Way, Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre, Jersey Boys at the August Wilson and The Lion King at the Minskoff continue to lead the pack with over $1 million in sales at the box office. Xanadu at the Helen Hayes experienced the biggest dollar loss of any production grossing just $166,695, a drop of $94,500 over the previous reporting period. [title of show] was hurting with ticket sales of only $107,591, filling only about 30 percent of its seats. It represents the Best Bargain at just $48 a ticket, the lowest Average Paid Admission. “Jersey Boys” continues to have the highest Average Paid Admission at $112. Young Frankenstein is not reporting its figures.

There are currently five plays on Broadway with the opening to previews this past week of A Man for all Seasons at the American Airlines Theatre. Opening night is scheduled Sept. 25 for Equus at the Broadhurst, maintaining its lead with a bump of $358,757 in ticket sales for a total of $630,361.

“Xanadu,” winner of the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Broadway Musical, and four 2008 Tony Award nominations, will close on Oct. 12 after a run of 528 regular performances and 49 previews.

It was announced this week that “Hair” will return to Broadway in early 2009 with theater, dates and casting to be announced at a later date. Elizabeth I. McCann and the Public Theater will join forces to produce this Broadway revival.
Broadway Gross Ticket Sales Week ending September 14, 2008
All data provided by The Broadway League

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Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
Week Ending September 14, 2008

Weekly GrossTotal Atten.Prev.Perf.Total CapacityAvg. Ticket PriceAtten. %
A Man For All Seasons
(American Airlines)
A Tale…Cities
August: Osage County
(Music Box)
Avenue Q
(St. James)
(Neil Simon)
In the Heights
Jersey Boys
(August Wilson)
Legally Blonde
Mamma Mia!
(Winter Garden)
Mary Poppins
(New Amsterdam)
South Pacific
Spring Awakening
The 39 Steps
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
The Phantom of the Opera
[title of show]

Last Updated on September 17, 2008 by By Carol-Ann Rudy