Broadway Soars Ahead as “Book of Mormon” Lags Behind

“The Book of Mormon” Falls to Tenth Place for First Time

The Book of Mormon Broadway Musical, posterIn the week ending April 16, 2017, the Broadway industry surged ahead, earning almost $6 million more than the week before across the 40 shows running.  However, one of the Broadway musicals that has been a powerhouse success since it began is starting to show signs of slowing down.  The Book of Mormon, which was written by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Avenue Q composer Bobby Lopez, began previews on February 24, 2011, ahead of its opening night on March 24, 2011.  In the more than six years since the show has been running, it has been a smash success.  Not until Hamilton did a modern musical become such a hot ticket in recent years.  In general, The Book of Mormon has been ranking in or close to the top five shows, which also include The Lion King, Wicked, Aladdin, and Hamilton.  This past week, however, The Book of Mormon was all the way down the chart to tenth place, falling behind not only those four shows, but also Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler, The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock – the Musical, Waitress starring Sara Bareilles, and the new stage musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  This may be a sign of The Book of Mormon falling even further down the charts as it becomes more of a “has been” show.  As more hot shows are hitting the stage, The Book of Mormon is now off the radar to ticket brokers.  In coming months, there may be more discounts available to this musical than ever before.

Broadway Industry Surges by Almost Six Million Dollarstop 5 broadway shows

This past week, while The Book of Mormon showed signs of slowing down, the industry as a whole surged ahead.  Across the 40 shows currently running, the collective weekly gross was $41,151,035, which is an increase of $5,964,318 more than the week before, with the same number of shows running.  Across the board, this represents an average of 75.02% of the shows’ gross potential.  With an average top ticket price of $286.58, the average paid ticket was $118.35, and the audience was filled up to an average capacity of 90.11% across the week, up from 86.48% the week before.  Of the 40 shows running, 34 saw an increase in ticket sales, and only six saw a decrease.  No decrease was more than $70,000, so all were relatively small.  The three top musicals – The Lion King, Wicked, and Aladdin – all played nine performances this past week due to the influx of tourists due to the Easter and Passover holidays.  Therefore, the biggest increase was seen by The Lion King, which went up by $789,516 to reach a weekly gross of $2,862,724, followed by Wicked, which went up by $656,025 to reach a weekly gross of $2,554,030, followed by Aladdin, which went up by $611,517 to reach a weekly gross of $2,147,230.  As for the show that played regular performances weeks of eight performances, the biggest increase was seen by The Phantom of the Opera, which went up by $390,840 to reach a weekly gross of $1,469,436, followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which went up by $390,318 to reach a weekly gross of $1,342,578.  In terms of gross potential, the biggest earner was actually Waitress, which saw an upsurge due to the takeover by songwriter Sara Bareilles of the lead role, reaching a weekly gross of $1,381,420, or 135.5% of its gross potential.

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With over 20 years experience in the Broadway field, including show marketing, production, development and investment, Jennifer R Jones is an all-around subject-matter-expert in the Broadway business. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and her iMac and tries to see at least five Broadway shows per week and when time will allow, will sneak in a daytime TV production for fun.
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