Several Broadway shows experienced a jump in ticket sales through Columbus Day as many tourists and New Yorkers took advantage of the long holiday weekend to catch a show.
According to figures posted by The Broadway League, receipts for all 24 productions totaled just over $20 million, the highest gross in quite some time, and an increase of nearly $3 million over the previous week’s sales. Every Broadway production had an increase in sales, and several experienced a very significant jump.
After spending a month atop the Broadway box office, “The Book of Mormon” ($1.7 million) was finally dethroned, as “The Lion King” reclaimed the No. 1 spot with sales totaling $1.8 million, according to Playbill.com. “Wicked” moved in to the No. 2 spot with receipts of $1.8 million, which pushed “The Book of Mormon” down to third. According to J. William Bruce, sales representative for Applause-Tickets.com, one reason that “The Lion King” has a slight advantage is that they continue to sell tickets at full price, whereas “Wicked” offers reduced priced seats in the rear orchestra and front mezzanine during weekdays.
According to Amanda Pekoe, president of theatrical advertising and marketing company The Pekoe Group, the holiday definitely positively affected ticket sales. “When people have time off with their families, they are more likely to go out and participate in fun things over the weekend, like see theatre,” Pekoe told TicketNews® via email.
Eight shows grossed over $1 million and a few shows like “Mamma Mia!”, “Phantom of the Opera”, and “Newsies” came in just under the $1 million mark. Family favorites were among the biggest winners for the week, in terms of gross sales and week-over-week increase. “Wicked”, “The Lion King”, and “Mary Poppins” all had an increase of over $200,000 from the previous week’s sales. Seven shows experienced an increase of over $100,000.
Among the unlucky shows were “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($422,517); the latest revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” ($267,184); and newcomers “An Enemy of the People” ($235,576) and “Cyrano de Bergerac” ($205,262), which were some of the lowest grossing shows through the holiday, according to Broadway.com.
“Mary Poppins” had the greatest increase in capacity, up 17.9 percent for a total of 83.4 percent capacity. Surprisingly, “Cyrano de Bergerac” also had a significant increase (11.7 percent) in capacity despite a low gross in ticket sales. “An Enemy of the People” had the greatest decrease in capacity, down 11.6 percent from the previous week.
Also contributing to the overall jump in sales is the opening of two shows this week. “The Heiress”, led by Jessica Chastain, opened at the Kerr Theatre and played just two preview performances, which led to $151,328 in ticket sales. Everyone’s favorite redhead made her much anticipated return to Broadway in the latest revival of “Annie”, which opened this week at the Palace Theatre. “Regarding ‘Annie’, this is a much-awaited production and who doesn’t want to see ‘Annie’ on Broadway,” Pekoe told TicketNews®. “Also, it was the first week of previews for ‘Annie’, but in general I believe that this show will do extremely well at the box office.” The show earned $560,928 over just five preview performances.
Broadway Gross Ticket Sales
|Weekly Gross||Total Atten.||Prev.||Perf.||Total Capacity||Avg. Ticket Price||Atten. %|
|Bring It On
|Cyrano de Bergerac
|Nice Work If You Can Get It
|Peter and the Starcatcher
|Rock of Ages
|The Book of Mormon
|The Lion King
|The Phantom of the Opera
|Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
All data provided by The Broadway League.