Hurricane Sandy made its strength known in New York City last week, including the Broadway neighborhood, forcing several shows to cancel performances and with the mass-transit system shutdown, the storm effected shows through the rest of the week.
According to The Broadway League, receipts for the Great White Way’s 28 shows totaled $13.7 million, down nearly $6 million from the previous week’s sales. Broadway favorites like “The Book of Mormon,” “Wicked,” and “The Lion King” still managed to bring in over $1 million, but several shows reached less than 50 percent of their potential gross, according to figures posted by BroadwayWorld.com.
“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” earned $810,685 and “Once” took in $783,614 in sales, rounding out the top five grossing shows for the week. While “Wicked” was also among the top-grossing shows, the long-running family favorite had the greatest loss with sales down nearly $500,000 from the previous week.
While some shows were left in the dark longer than others, a few productions managed to get back on their feet and bring in packed audiences. The Al Pacino-led revival of “Glengarry Glen Ross” earned just over 100 percent of their projected gross and played to an audience at 95.9 percent capacity, according to Broadway.com. “The Book of Mormon” also played to a packed house at 102.6 percent.
“If there were any shows that were sure not to be effected it would be the two of them,” J. William Bruce, sales rep for Applause-Tickets.com, said about “The Book of Mormon” and “Glengarry Glen Ross” in an email to TicketNews®. “For Mormon they are always at full capacity and if any one cancelled they always have a line out the door of people waiting for cancellations. Same with Glengarry.”
Despite the triumphant fight of some shows, a majority of the Broadway productions took a significant hit in terms of sales since the forced cancellations caused many shows to have to offer refunds for tickets purchased. “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” “Cyrano de Bergerac,” and “Scandalous” all experienced a decrease in sales of more than $100,000 from the previous week. “The Performances” and “An Enemy of the People” pulled in less than $200,000 for the week.
“The Performers,” “Rock of Ages,” “Annie,” “An Enemy of the People,” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” escaped with decreases in sales of less than $100,000, the smallest of any Broadway shows.
The storm made travel difficult even throughout the week, causing many shows to struggle to fill the theaters. “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Scandalous,” “Bring It On,” “Cyrano de Bergerac,” and “Grace” all played to audiences at less than 50 percent capacity.
Even more than a week after the storm, Broadway has still not been able to return to normal. “I know we had several people that had tickets for the weekend even after the airports were open that were scared about coming into the city,” Bruce told TicketNews®.
While many shows will continue to struggle, Bruce remains optimistic. “We’ve had worse disasters than this and have always found a way to bounce back. This will be no different,” he told TicketNews®.
To view the full listing of Broadway sales for the week ending November 4, 2012, visit The Broadway League.