After a rough few weeks, Broadway ticket sales are finally climbing out of the doldrums for the Holiday Season. The week ending November 30...

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:

1Wicked at the Gershwin$1,800,907
2The Lion King at the Minskoff$1,470,554
3Jersey Boys at the August Wilson$1,293,510
4Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Marquis$1,260,809
5Billy Elliott: The Musical$1,245,926
6The Little Mermaid at the Lunt-Fontanne$1,097,207
7Shrek, The Musical at the Broadway$1,052,975
8Mamma Mia! at the Winter Garden$1,052,440
9In The Heights at the Richard Rodgers$1,040,696
10Mary 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.

Of the nine plays currently on Broadway, top grossers are All My Sons at the Schoenfeld, $582,378; Speed The Plow at the Barrymore, $548,701 and “Equus” at the Broadhurst, $519,468.

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.

“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

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Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
Week Ending November 30, 2008

Weekly GrossTotal Atten.Prev.Perf.Total CapacityAvg. Ticket PriceAtten. %
A Man For All Seasons
(American Airlines)
All My Sons
August: Osage County
(Music Box)
Avenue Q
Billy Elliot
Dividing the Estate
(St. James)
(Neil Simon)
In the Heights
Irving…White Christmas
Jersey Boys
(August Wilson)
Mamma Mia!
(Winter Garden)
Mary Poppins
(New Amsterdam)
Pal Joey
(Studio 54)
South Pacific
Speed the Plow
Spring Awakening
The 39 Steps
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
The Phantom of the Opera
The Seagull
(Walter Kerr)