The annual January decline of ticket sales continued this past week. Of the 22 shows currently on Broadway, only two held onto their million-dollar...

The annual January decline of ticket sales continued this past week. Of the 22 shows currently on Broadway, only two held onto their million-dollar box office, Wicked at the Gershwin and Billy Elliot at the Imperial. Jersey Boys at the August Wilson dropped off the edge with just over $941,000. Not even the venerable “Wicked” managed to fill more than 94 percent of its seats, but none dipped below the 51 percent of Shrek at the Broadway Theatre.

Overall, ticket sales continue to slide. Gross ticket sales were $11,924,371 for 22 shows compared to $12,684,919 in the last reporting period and $13,260,882 the same week last year for 30 productions. This season still compares favorably to last, nearly $644 million to $600,519,777.

There were only three bright spots this week, and they were all plays. Leading the way was The American Plan at the Friedman, with an almost ten percent increase in attendance and a corresponding increase in ticket sales, 27 percent over the previous week. The others with increases in attendance were Hedda Gabler at the American Airlines Theatre, almost eight percent, and Equus at the Broadhurst, more than five percent. Soul of Shaolin at the Marquis finished its limited run up almost $15,000 over last week, at $439,438.

On a brighter note, theatergoers can take heart as a revival of Guys and Dolls will open to previews this Thursday, Feb. 5, at the newly renovated Nederlander Theatre. It was set to open earlier but that was pushed back with the need for one more technical rehearsal. Opening Night is scheduled for March 1. Also, the upcoming 2009-10 season will feature a revival of the Tony Award-winning musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Miss Julie” as well as Noel Coward’s comedy “Present Laughter”. The revival of Hair will open to previews at the Hirschfeld on March 6 with Opening Night scheduled for March 31. Lastly, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre celebrated its 21st anniversary on January 26 as the longest-running production ever on Broadway with 8,732 performances.

“Hedda Gabler” provides the Best Bargain on Broadway this week at an Average Paid Admission of $50 while “Jersey Boys” continues to hold the Top Ticket price of $350.


Broadway Gross Ticket Sales Week ending February 1, 2009
All data provided by The Broadway League.

Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
Week Ending February 1, 2009

Production
(Theatre)
Weekly Gross Total Atten. Prev. Perf. Total Capacity Avg. Ticket Price Atten. %
August: Osage County
(Music Box)
$282,793 4,832 0 8 979 $58.52 61.7%
Avenue Q
(Golden)
$191,418 3,604 0 8 796 $53.11 56.6%
Billy Elliot
(Imperial)
$1,066,492 10,028 0 8 1,421 $106.35 88.2%
Chicago
(Ambassador)
$322,076 4,932 0 8 1,080 $65.30 57.1%
Equus
(Broadhurst)
$427,320 6,448 0 8 1,206 $66.27 66.8%
Hedda Gabler
(American Airlines)
$230,679 4,562 0 8 740 $50.57 77.1%
In the Heights
(Rodgers)
$678,737 8,847 0 8 1,365 $76.72 81.0%
Jersey Boys
(August Wilson)
$941,089 8,905 0 8 1,222 $105.68 91.1%
Mamma Mia!
(Winter Garden)
$601,239 8,854 0 8 1,498 $67.91 73.9%
Mary Poppins
(New Amsterdam)
$541,163 9,264 0 8 1,797 $58.42 64.4%
Pal Joey
(Studio 54)
$331,319 6,442 0 8 1,002 $51.43 80.4%
Shrek
(Broadway)
$502,479 7,166 0 8 1,735 $70.12 51.6%
Soul of Shaolin
(Marquis)
$439,438 8,623 0 8 1,611 $50.96 66.9%
South Pacific
(Beaumont)
$856,605 7,482 0 8 1,041 $114.49 89.8%
Speed the Plow
(Barrymore)
$303,467 4,620 0 8 1,058 $65.69 54.6%
The 39 Steps
(Hayes)
$169,868 3,071 0 8 589 $55.31 65.2%
The American Plan
(Friedman)
$183,515 3,491 0 8 650 $52.57 67.1%
The Lion King
(Minskoff)
$803,913 11,039 0 8 1,654 $72.82 83.4%
The Little Mermaid
(Lunt-Fontanne)
$562,600 8,729 0 8 1,520 $64.45 71.8%
The Phantom of the Opera
(Majestic)
$503,480 8,463 0 8 1,615 $59.49 65.5%
Wicked
(Gershwin)
$1,212,812 13,649 0 8 1,809 $88.86 94.3%
You’re Welcome…
(Cort)
$771,869 8,095 8 0 1,067 $95.35 94.8%