Three Musicals New This Season Top the Charts: Dolly, George, and Anastasia
This past week, the week ending March 26, 2017, Dolly, George, and Anastasia change the Broadway landscape. Hamilton was not first, not second, not third – but fourth – on the box office charts in terms of percentage reached of gross potential. The highest performing show for the second week in a row was Hello, Dolly!, which brought in a weekly gross of $1,670,486, which represents 119.3% of its gross potential. In just its second week of previews, and still with just six performances in this second week, this musical revival is demonstrating with hard numbers the buzz that has been circulating about its record-breaking advances. Due in no small part to the star power of Bette Midler, playing opposite David Hyde Pierce, Gavin Creel, and Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly! looks poised to have an extremely fruitful run. Next on the list was another musical revival that is new this season: Sunday in the Park with George. However, unlike Dolly, this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical is set for a strictly limited engagement to conclude on April 23, 2017. The box office demand is spurred by this finite run, as well as the exciting cast led by Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, in addition to the excellent critical response for the musical revival. This past week, the show brought in a weekly gross of $1,197,337, which represents 108.2% of its gross potential. The show did not play any performances the week before, due to a scheduling conflict on the part of Gyllenhaal, and so the audience was filled up to 99.9% capacity with fans eager to catch the limited run.
The third highest performing show in terms of gross potential was one of the two new shows to hit Broadway this past week. Anastasia, a new musical with a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, came to Broadway on March 23, 2017 following a tryout run in Hartford, Connecticut last year. This show, based on the 1997 Fox Animation Studios film of the same name, has been garnering significant buzz and has reportedly brought in hefty advance ticket sales. This past week, in a partial first week of 4 previews, the show brought in a gross of $629,307, which represents 107.7% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $350, the average paid admission was $137.64, and the audience was filled up to 100.0% of its capacity. While these first four performances may not be indicative of such robust performance a few weeks down the line, it is certainly a good sign for the team behind this show. On that same day, March 23, 2017, J.T. Rogers’ new play Oslo began previews at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre, also playing four performances in its first week. In that time, it brought in a weekly gross of $296,597, which represents 58.6% of the play’s gross potential. With a top ticket price of $197, the average paid admission was $84.02, and the audience was filled up to 84.3% of its gross potential. Oslo has a slightly more uphill battle ahead of it compared to Anastasia, as it is a 3-hour political drama rather than a family-friendly musical. In any case, the excellent reviews from the Off-Broadway production make this an enticing show in its own right.