The Mother’s Day weekend seemed to have little effect on Broadway’s gross ticket sales for the week ending May 13, with an increase of just $28,000 over the previous week.
According to figures posted by The Broadway League, ticket sales for the Great White Way’s 38 productions totaled $25.2 million with an increase among 15 shows. With a decrease among 24 productions, the holiday weekend did not boost ticket sales as much as producers had hoped and with few upcoming openings on the calendar, overall sales are likely to stay consistent.
“Peter and the Starcatcher” ($370,039) was the week’s big winner in terms of increased ticket sales taking in 29.2 percent over the previous week. “A Streetcar Named Desire” also had a successful week with sales of $446,069, up 24.2 percent and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($439,851) also made gains with sales up 19.7 percent.
Amanda Pekoe, president of theatrical marketing and advertising company The Pekoe Group, spoke via email to TicketNews about the week’s Broadway ticket sales. Pekoe pointed out that with Tony Award nominations announced, productions that received a lot of nominations, like “Peter and the Starcatcher,” will likely see an increase in attendance and ticket sales. Also, ” ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ is closing on May 20, so there is some urgency to see it before it’s gone,” added Pekoe.
While overall ticket sales did increase through the week ending May 13, more Broadway productions experienced a decrease rather than increase. “Mary Poppins” ($529,251) had the greatest decline in sales, down 28 percent with a loss of $139,939, based on figures posted by Playbill.com. “Mamma Mia” ($662,496) also took a hit with sales down 17.4 percent and Broadway fixture “The Phantom of the Opera” ($800,916) saw a decline of 10.4 percent.
“These are shows that have been around for some time and are crowd pleasers,” said Pekoe to TicketNews. “They are not going to close anytime soon, so ticket buyers are likely looking to buy tickets to newly nominated shows and productions that have a limited engagement.”
“Nice Work If You Can Get It,” which had the greatest increase in sales through May 6, managed to keep earnings above $1 million and made significant gains through May 13 taking in nearly $71,000 over the previous week, up 6.9 percent based on Playbill.com figures. “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man” had the greatest loss ($210,857) through the week ending May 6, but managed to turn it around this week with gross sales totaling $737,996, an increase of 8.2 percent.
Several shows are likely to experience lower attendance until after the buzz around Tony Award nominations dies down, but until this happens, there is at least one Broadway show that is ramping up marketing efforts in order to draw audiences. According to Playbill.com, “Godspell” recently announced a “pay-your-age night” to take place on Thursday, May 17, which according to producer Ken Davenport, will hopefully help to attract a younger demographic and help give theatergoers what they want — more affordable tickets.
“I think the ‘pay-your-age night’ is a really creative way of reaching a younger audience, and letting them know that the production is fun and has a youthful energy,” said Pekoe. “With Tony Awards approaching, shows are looking to stand out from the competition and implement new ways of attracting audiences.”
Ticketmaster is also following suit with the announcement of Broadway’s BIG Deals. According to a press release posted by TicketNews, Ticketmaster, a Live Nation Entertainment company, will offer discounted tickets to nearly 50 events across the country including several Tony Award nominees.
Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
|Weekly Gross||Total Atten.||Prev.||Perf.||Total Capacity||Avg. Ticket Price||Atten. %|
|Death of a Salesman
|Don’t Dress For Dinner
(Circle in Square)
|Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
|How to Succeed…
|Jesus Christ Superstar
|Leap of Faith
|Nice Work If You Can Get It
|One Man, Two Guvnors
|Other Desert Cities
|Peter and the Starcatcher
|Porgy and Bess
|Rock of Ages
|The Book of Mormon
|The Lion King
|The Phantom of the Opera
|Venus in Fur
All data provided by The Broadway League.