Broadway Plays Leap Over Musicals as the Fall Season Gets Underway

In the week ending October 2, 2016, the fall season plays are now in full swing, and New Yorkers are taking interest. This past week, the biggest sales increase of any show between the two weeks was The Front Page, a play revival starring Nathan Lane, John Goodman, John Slattery, and Holland Taylor, which brought in a weekly gross of $1,083,934.  The Front Page Marquee at the Broadhurst TheatreWith a top ticket price of $373.00, the average paid admission was $130.03, and the audience was filled up to 101.2% of its capacity over the seven performances. In comparison to the previous week, when it played one fewer performance (a total of six), the gross went up by $161,936, and the gross potential went up by 1.26%.  Another non-musical finding its footing is the comedy event Oh, Hello on Broadway which stars Nick Kroll and John Mulaney.  This past week, it played seven performances, up from the previous week’s first partial week of three performances, and the weekly gross was $396,561, up from $247,237 the week before.  This increase of $149,324 is accounted for by the additional four performances, although the gross potential decreased from 85.69% the previous week to 61.35% this past week.  The Manhattan Theatre Club production of Heisenberg also saw an increase of $56,674 this past week, and with one additional performance, that indicated an increase in weekly gross from 42.83% the previous week to 45.42% this past week.

Hamilton cast sceneDecreases in Ticket Sales for “Hamilton,” “The Humans,” and More

This past week, Hamilton saw an apparently significant decrease in ticket sales of $244,692 from the week before, bringing it to a weekly gross of $2,174,750.  However, this decrease actually represented an increase in percentage reached of gross potential, as the previous week saw nine performances for Hamilton, whereas this past week was back to the usual eight.  In other words, the percentage reached of gross potential increased from 110.68% the previous week, to 111.92% this past week, despite the $244,692 decrease in weekly gross.  The next biggest decrease in ticket sales was seen by The Humans, the Tony Award winning play that has recently moved from the smaller Helen Hayes Theater to the larger Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, in order to accommodate increased demand and extend until its projected closing date of January 15, 2017.  Still, these are large shoes to fill, and the show saw a decrease of $78,484 this past week, reaching a weekly gross of $542,719, which is 55.59% of its gross potential.  In contrast, in the last week of the show’s run in the Helen Hayes Theatre, the week ending July 24, 2016, the show brought in a weekly gross of not much more than that, $554,398, but in that case it represented 95.30% of gross potential.  Therefore, the bigger theatre is making it more difficult for The Humans to stay afloat.  Other decreases in ticket sales were seen by On Your Feet! which went down by $71,802 to reach a weekly gross of $716,690, Cats, which went down by $41,632 to reach a weekly gross of $891,605, The Cherry Orchard, which went down by $32,274 to reach a weekly gross of $322,968, and The Encounter, which went down by $27,614 to reach a weekly gross of $297,917.

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Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jennifer studied Law and moved to New York City at age 24, where she still practices law and writes for abovethelaw.com. Jennifer's profession may be in the land-of-legal, but her passion is for Broadway where she can write about subjects as diverse as Broadway union contracts to show reviews. With a focus on entertainment law, Ms Chen still keeps her hand in with the latest industry legal developments that can keep playwrights, directors and licensing organizations up at night.
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