After a rough few weeks, Broadway ticket sales are finally climbing out of the doldrums for the Holiday Season. The week ending November 30 saw total gross ticket revenues of $22,329,017, a vast improvement compared to the previous week at $16,602,725. The number was also way beyond last year’s numbers for the same period, $14,626,123, which were skewed by the stagehands strike of Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
Recent weeks have unnerved producers and ticket brokers alike, as fears of the deepening recession have not only gripped Broadway but the nation as a whole. Several once popular shows have announced premature closing dates, and overall ticket sales for the season, while not terrible, have been disappointing.
The week ending the 30th has been a shining exception. No less than ten of the current 31 Broadway shows reported box office receipts of more than $1 million. All were musicals:
|1||Wicked at the Gershwin||$1,800,907|
|2||The Lion King at the Minskoff||$1,470,554|
|3||Jersey Boys at the August Wilson||$1,293,510|
|4||Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Marquis||$1,260,809|
|5||Billy Elliott: The Musical||$1,245,926|
|6||The Little Mermaid at the Lunt-Fontanne||$1,097,207|
|7||Shrek, The Musical at the Broadway||$1,052,975|
|8||Mamma Mia! at the Winter Garden||$1,052,440|
|9||In The Heights at the Richard Rodgers||$1,040,696|
|10||Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam||$1,036,021|
This list does not include figures for Young Frankenstein playing at the Hilton. “Frankenstein” will close on January 4, after 30 previews and 484 regular performances. One of the most expensive productions in recent Broadway history, the show simply didn’t click with audiences as “The Producers” did before it, in addition to the show initially carrying very expensive tickets. The unofficial estimate, published by Daily Variety, puts cumulative grosses for the show at $59,298,600 through mid-November.
Looking at other comparisons, “Shrek The Musical” at the Broadway enjoyed the biggest bounce in bucks from one week to the next posting more than $548,000 more than the previous week with an increase of 30 percent in attendance. Only four productions saw a drop in attendance and it was slight.
“Dividing the Estate” at the Booth Theatre has received great reviews since its Opening Night on November 20, but will likely close on its allotted date of January 4.
In other news, Marco Penette is in final negotiation s to write the book for a production of “The Flintstones” with a score by Marx and Jake Anthony, according to Playbill. It will be produced by Warner Bros. Theater Ventures. Gary Griffin (“The Color Purple”) will direct.
UPCOMING OPENING NIGHTS:
“Shrek The Musical” is in previews and will open December 14.
“Pal Joey” at Studio 54 is also in previews and will open December 18.
Broadway Gross Ticket Sales Week ending November 30, 2008
All data provided by The Broadway League
Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
|Weekly Gross||Total Atten.||Prev.||Perf.||Total Capacity||Avg. Ticket Price||Atten. %|
|A Man For All Seasons
|All My Sons
|August: Osage County
|Dividing the Estate
|In the Heights
|Speed the Plow
|The 39 Steps
|The Lion King
|The Little Mermaid
|The Phantom of the Opera