Broadway gross ticket sales increased by over $2 million through the week ending May 20, a big improvement over the previous week’s increase of...

Broadway gross ticket sales increased by over $2 million through the week ending May 20, a big improvement over the previous week’s increase of just $28,000.

Overall ticket sales for the 37 productions on Great White Way totaled $27.4 million with an increase among 29 shows, according to figures posted by The Broadway League. Much of the overall increase was likely due to the fact that several shows experienced significant gains in terms of ticket sales.

Broadway recently said goodbye to three shows, one this week and two the previous week while one production made its debut. “Leap of Faith” closed May 13 with losses exceeding $14 million since opening April 26, according to The New York Times — despite a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical, the show closed in order to avoid continued losses. “Magic/Bird” closed May 12 after 38 regular performances and no Tony nominations, according to USA Today.

“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($651,665) closed on May 20 ending its 14-month run on a high note with sales up 48 percent over the previous week’s sales of $439,851. Amanda Pekoe, president of theatrical marketing and advertising company The Pekoe Group, provided an explanation for the show’s significant increase in ticket sales. “This is a story that many theatre lovers are familiar with and it was the last chance to see Nick Jonas on stage in this role,” said Pekoe in an email to TicketNews.

“Harvey” got off to a healthy start with sales of $305,770 over five preview performances beginning on May 18 and Studio 54 filled to 94 percent of capacity, according to figures by The Broadway League. The show is scheduled to officially open June 14.

Ticket sales for Tony nominated “Evita” ($1.6 million) earned it a spot among the highest grossing shows, falling third behind “The Lion King” ($1.8 million) and “Wicked” ($1.8 million). The popular production also broke the house record at the Marquis Theatre for the seventh time, according to Broadway.com.

A few other productions also made significant gains this week, while some fell short. “Mary Poppins” ($783,797) increased sales by 48 percent and sales for “Mamma Mia” ($808,686) were up 22.7 percent. “Jersey Boys” broke the $1 million mark with sales up 10.6 percent. “Nice Work If You Can Get It” managed to stay above $1 million, but the show had the greatest decrease in sales for the week, down 13.6 percent. Ticket sales for “Jesus Christ Superstar” ($549,379) were down 5.84 percent, likely a result of the show’s low capacity — the fifth lowest of any show with the Neil Simon Theatre filled to only 64.7 percent of capacity, according to Broadway.com.

“Godspell” attempted to attract a younger audience by holding “pay-your-age night” on May 17. Ticket sales over the week’s eight performances were up 13.4 percent or $29,084, according to figures by Playbill.com — a significant amount for a show that typically brings in around $200,000; however, the production was still the third lowest grossing show on Broadway.

To view the full listing of Broadway sales for the week ending May 20, 2012, visit The Broadway League.