Broadway experienced a small dip in the holiday box office going from $22,980,756 the previous reporting period to $20,817,705 this past week. No matter, overall the figures for the season are still up 0.5 percent over the same time last season, $569,487,725 compared to $566,765,142 last season.
The million-dollar productions this past week were Wicked at the Gershwin, The Lion King at the Minskoff, Billy Elliot at the Imperial, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Marquis, and Jersey Boys at the August Wilson. “White Christmas” saw the largest gain dollar-wise, an increase of $166,339 over the previous week for a jump of 1.5 percent in attendance. That uptick in attendance was only exceeded by last-minute theater-goers catching “The Royal Family” which closed on December 13. A Little Night Music at the Kerr, which opened December 13, saw a slight drop in box office sales over the previous week, losing $102,729 or 4.2 percent. However, it still saw virtually 100 percent attendance for exciting performances by stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury. Race at the Barrymore saw the largest drop in audience share, a mere 5.1 percent.
All in all, five productions posted attendance at 95 percent or better. In the Top Ticket category, “A Little Night Music” and “Jersey Boys” vied for top spot at $350 per ticket. The Best Buy ticket, as seen in the Average Paid Admission category, was held by “The Royal Family” in its closing week selling for an average price of $43.26.
Shrek: The Musical will close after its performance on January 3, 2010. It opened at the Broadway Theatre December 14, 2008. It was based on the story and characters created by William Steig.
The closing of the very popular special Burn the Floor at the Longacre is now extended to February 14.
According to the New York Theatre Guide, Ken Davenport has announced his next project. The producer says he will mount the first-ever Broadway revival of Godspell for the 2010-11 season. The York Theatre Company’s “Enter Laughing”` is rumored to be coming to Broadway during the 2010-11 season.
Another strike may be looming on the horizon for Broadway. Members of 32BJ SEIU, which consists of about 150 cleaning workers working in many of Broadway’s houses, are threatening to strike if contract negotiations are not resolved satisfactorily. Their contract expires December 31. The cleaners, porters and matrons work at more than 30 theaters, earning about $16 an hour. They are looking for a $1.50 an hour pay raise and no cuts in health insurance coverage. Two years ago, the union representing stagehands shut Broadway down for eighteen days.
Please note: Beginning with the week ending May 31, 2009, “Gross” represents Gross Gross and “Attendance” represents Total Attendance. For every week prior to May 31, these numbers represent Net Gross and Paid Attendance respectively. The Broadway League took this into account when comparing this season’s figures to the previous season’s and made adjustments accordingly.
Broadway Gross Ticket Sales Week ending December 13, 2009
All data provided by The Broadway League
Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
|Weekly Gross||Total Atten.||Prev.||Perf.||Total Capacity||Avg. Ticket Price||Atten. %|
|A Little Night Music|
|Burn the Floor|
|Bye Bye Birdie|
|God of Carnage|
|In the Heights|
|In the Next Room|
|Next to Normal|
|Rock of Ages|
|The 39 Steps|
|The Lion King|
|The Phantom of the Opera|
|The Royal Family|
|West Side Story|