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Broadway Box Office Up Slightly To $31M As Large Spring Roster Leaves Some Seats Empty

With nearly all 36 productions settling into full schedules last week, the Broadway box office tally climbed a modest 7% from the previous week, totaling $31,199,660, with attendance of 249,219 showing a 3% bump.

The attendance figure represents about 76% of available seats, indicating that the recently crowded line-up could be spreading the audience pool a bit thin. Only eight productions approached sell-out status during the week ending May 8 – the week, notably, before Tony Award nominations were announced – including the usual roster of hits: The Music Man, The Lion King, Six, Plaza Suite, Moulin Rouge!, Macbeth, Hadestown and Funny Girl. Hamilton, Aladdin, MJ and The Book of Mormon did well, filling at least 90% of their seats.

A wide swath of the productions, even some of the best-reviewed shows of the spring, were playing to more than a few empty seats: In the 60%-70% of capacity ranges were A Strange Loop, American Buffalo, Beetlejuice, Birthday Candles, Come From Away, Company, Dear Evan Hansen, Paradise Square, The Minutes, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Phantom of the Opera, Tina and Wicked, with only Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, How I Learned To Drive, Take Me Out and Chicago (with Pamela Anderson in a limited engagement) hitting the 80% mark or higher.

Struggling hardest were Hangmen, grossing $252,543 with only 41% of seats filled; for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf ($159,093, 39%); POTUS ($380,674, 49%); The Skin of Our Teeth ($174,481, 39%); Girl from North Country ($274,782, 52%); and, in its final week of performances following an early closing announcement, The Little Prince ($330,668, 53%).

Mr. Saturday Night played only five performances last week after star Billy Crystal canceled the May 5 show due to non-Covid illness. The comedy took in $565,412 for the five performances, filling 68% of available seats.

Yesterday’s Tony Award nominations could prompt boosts in sales – A Strange Loop, Take Me Out, Company and at least several others might benefit from multiple nominations – though traditionally the sales bumps arrive in June after the award winners are determined. Time will tell.

Despite the disparity in ticket sales from show to show, the overall tally isn’t too drastically below pre-pandemic levels: With the same number of productions – 36 – the total box office for the week ending May 6, 2019, was $34,151,624, about 9% more than last week’s figure. Attendance last week was about 16% lower than the 2019 week when 297,097 people showed up.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $781,715,077, with attendance of 6,225,582 at 82% of capacity.

The 36 productions reporting figures on Broadway last week were Aladdin; American Buffalo; Beetlejuice; Birthday Candles; The Book of Mormon; Chicago; Come From Away; Company; Dear Evan Hansen; for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf; Funny Girl; Girl From The North Country; Hadestown; Hamilton; Hangmen; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; How I Learned To Drive; The Lion King; The Little Prince; MJ; The Minutes; Moulin Rouge!; Mr. Saturday Night; Mrs. Doubtfire; The Music Man; Paradise Square; The Phantom of the Opera; Plaza Suite; POTUS; Six; The Skin of Our Teeth; A Strange Loop; Take Me Out; Tina; and Wicked.

All figures courtesy of the Broadway League.

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