The Great White Way welcomed two new shows this week, and thanks to their openings, gross ticket sales increased by nearly 2.5 percent over the previous week, despite a drop in sales among several shows.
According to figures posted by The Broadway League, Broadway receipts totaled $20.6 million, an increase of $506,751, through the week ending October 14. Seventeen shows experienced a drop in sales while just six shows saw an increase. A few shows made significant gains and two shows made their Broadway debut, which contributed to the overall climb.
Comedian Lewis Black’s one-man show “Running on Empty” began performances October 9 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and will play just eight performances through October 20. The show played to full capacity through Sunday and earned a whopping $742,860 over just six performances. According to J. William Bruce, sales representative for Applause-Tickets.com, the show’s limited run and the absence of discounted tickets will help the show earn more in gross sales. New musical “Scandalous” opened at the Neil Simon Theatre on October 13 and played just one preview performance this week for which it earned $66,341 in ticket sales.
Ticket sales for the latest revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” have been off to a slow start. For the second week in a row, the show was among the lowest grossing productions on Broadway, with receipts totaling just $215,495 across five preview and two regular performances, down $51,690 from the previous week, according to Playbill.com. Fellow newbie “Cyrano de Bergerac” increased sales by just $5,079 over the previous week’s earnings for a total of $210,342 through Sunday.
“The Heiress” earned $542,464 across eight preview performances, a difference of $391,137 over the previous week and the greatest increase of any Broadway production. Long-running musical “Evita” also had a significant jump with sales up $101,175 and receipts totaling nearly $1.2 million. In contrast, “Bring It On: The Musical” had its second-lowest grossing week since opening on Broadway in July. Receipts for the musical totaled $365,698, a decline of $163,583 from the previous week’s ticket sales, and the greatest decrease of any production.
Family favorites took a big hit this week. “The Lion King” remains the king of Broadway, raking in nearly $1.8 million, but this week the show experienced a decrease of $61,149, compared to its $230,969 increase the previous week, according to BroadwayWorld.com. “Wicked” and “Mary Poppins” both increased sales by over $200,000 during the Columbus Day holiday, but the shows had some of the greatest losses this week — sales for “Wicked” were down by $115,077 through Sunday and “Mary Poppins” experienced a decrease of $91,820 and had the fifth lowest capacity on Broadway.
The long-awaited revival of “Annie” opened with a bang, but this week sales seemed to slow a bit. Receipts for the musical totaled $647,763 across seven preview performances, an increase of $86,835. The small but respectable increase is likely related to the fact that show played to an audience at just 74.58 percent capacity, according to Broadway.com.
“Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway” is scheduled to begin its seven-performance engagement October 19 at the Broadway Theatre. The run, which will continue through October 27, will mark Valli and the Four Seasons’ first Broadway concert engagement, although the story of their rise to fame has also been told by the popular Tony-winning musical “Jersey Boys.”
To view the full listing of Broadway sales for the week ending October 14, 2012, visit The Broadway League.