While January started out on a promising note for Broadway ticket sales, the weeks that followed have seen sales plummet, as box office returns...

While January started out on a promising note for Broadway ticket sales, the weeks that followed have seen sales plummet, as box office returns reflected the bitter cold weather in New York City.

Broadway ticket sales for the week ending January 23 hit a season low of $12,343,577. Looking at ticket sales for the previous reporting period ending January 16 of $14,896,890, Broadway saw a drop of $2,553,313. During the same week-four period in 2010, sales were $14,269,366.

January is traditionally a slower month after the Holidays, but this year’s the sales crunch is exacerbated not only by the still recovering economy, but also a plethora of show closings, nine of which closed on January 2 alone.

In addition, while tourism is growing in New York City, many of those tourists have become more savvy at looking for bargains, which has led to the continued practice of discounting tickets for most shows.

Only two shows reported box office receipts in excess of $1 million for the week ending January 23: “Wicked” at the Gershwin with $1,401,082 followed by “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” at the Foxwoods with $1,338,162.

Attendance reported for the week overall was 72.6 percent, with “Wicked” at 89.4 percent followed by “Spider-man” at 95.1 percent. Reporting the lowest figure was “Chicago” at slightly over 53 percent.

The only show coming even close to achieving its Gross Gross Potential was “Wicked” at 89.4 percent. At the other end of the scale, “Chicago” posted a weak 34.6 percent.

Four shows posted tickets with face values at or exceeding $300, including “Jersey Boys” at $350. The best bargain-priced average ticket was $58.65 for “Colin Quinn: Long Story Short” at the Helen Hayes.

Opening soon with a new date will be “Spider-Man” on March 15 at the Foxwoods.

On hiatus at this time are three shows: “The Merchant of Venice” will resume performances on February 1. “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway” is also on hiatus and will resume performances February 8 at the Brooks Atkinson. “Rock of Ages” will reopen March 24 at the Helen Hayes.

Several other promising shows are scheduled to open over the next two months, which are likely to buoy the season’s final figures.

All data provided by The Broadway League

Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
Week Ending January 23, 2011

Production
(Theatre)
Weekly Gross Total Atten. Prev. Perf. Total Capacity Avg. Ticket Price Atten. %
American Idiot
(St. James)
$901,450 9,527 0 8 1,709 $94.62 69.7%
Billy Elliot
(Imperial)
$739,234 9,190 0 8 1,421 $80.44 80.8%
Chicago
(Ambassador)
$330,062 4,582 0 8 1,080 $72.03 53.0%
Colin Quinn…Short
(Hayes)
$168,862 2,879 0 8 587 $58.65 61.3%
Driving Miss Daisy
(Golden)
$480,577 4,856 0 8 804 $98.97 75.5%
Jersey Boys
(August Wilson)
$933,386 8,279 0 8 1,228 $112.74 84.3%
La Cage aux Folles
(Longacre)
$466,933 5,620 0 8 1,057 $83.08 66.5%
Lombardi
(Circle in Square)
$316,283 4,064 0 8 790 $77.83 64.3%
Mamma Mia!
(Winter Garden)
$527,026 6,801 0 8 1,498 $77.49 56.8%
Mary Poppins
(New Amsterdam)
$571,885 8,224 0 8 1,797 $69.54 57.2%
Memphis
(Shubert)
$698,848 9,871 0 8 1,470 $70.80 83.9%
Million Dollar Quartet
(Nederlander)
$427,608 5,501 0 8 1,214 $77.73 56.6%
Spider-Man…Dark
(Foxwoods)
$1,338,162 12,849 7 0 1,930 $104.15 95.1%
The Addams Family
(Lunt-Fontanne)
$709,646 8,050 0 8 1,519 $88.15 66.2%
The Importance…Earnest
(American Airlines)
$356,833 5,591 0 8 740 $63.82 94.4%
The Lion King
(Minskoff)
$993,169 9,229 0 8 1,677 $107.61 68.8%
The Phantom of the Opera
(Majestic)
$557,476 8,408 0 8 1,615 $66.30 65.1%
Time Stands Still
(Cort)
$425,058 6,430 0 8 1,079 $66.11 74.5%
Wicked
(Gershwin)
$1,401,082 13,972 0 8 1,809 $100.28 96.5%