Post-holiday slumps are the norm on Broadway, but a series of factors are combining to make the drop-off a particularly steep one this year, according to reporting by multiple outlets.
Terrible weather hit New York and depressed attendance beyond the normal lull in business for the week following Christmas/New Years. That “bomb cyclone” effect, with sub-zero temperatures and whipping snow, combined by off-time and illnesses, made for a 35% drop in sales in the box office, according to Variety.
It should be noted that the holiday week being compared to was an all-timer for Broadway, which makes that steep drop a little more understandable. And help will be on the way, with the annual 2-for-1 Broadway Week promotion coming up.
More details from Variety:
A hefty chunk of Broadway’s top shows were still packed, or close enough, and earning plenty of money, including “Hamilton” ($3,132,598), “The Lion King” ($2,622,799 for nine), “Hello, Dolly!” ($2,206,170) and “Wicked” ($1,926,621). A full baker’s dozen of 13 titles pulled in more than $1 million apiece, including “Come From Away” ($1,286,045), the imminently closing “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” ($1,277,069) and “The Band’s Visit” ($1,056,889). “SpongeBob SquarePants” ($971,929) didn’t top $1 million, but nonetheless seems to be holding on to some momentum from its strong reviews.
With “Meteor Shower” ($709,510) down due to the illness of its headliner, Amy Schumer, the highest selling play of the week was Mark Rylance outing “Farinelli and the King” ($814,072).
One show, “Junk” ($465,747), closed, while a couple more — including “Charlie,” “Miss Saigon” ($1,057,337) and “Meteor Shower” gear up to go dark in the coming weeks.
Recent news is also promising, like the announcement that Jason Mraz will remain on at “Waitress” for another two weeks, and the fact that Hamilton continues to stay red-hot, topping sales numbers on the secondary market Tuesday as well as its recent announcement of another batch of tickets going on sale for dates through early 2019.
For now, however, the producers will just have to weather the storm and await fairer figures.