Outpouring of Support in the Final Week of “Natasha, Pierre”
On September 3, 2017, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 played its final performance on Broadway. It had been running since its first preview on October 18, 2017, ahead of its opening night on November 14, 2017. Nominated for 14 Tony Awards this year, the most of any show, Natasha, Pierre nevertheless won just two: those for Best Lighting Design of a Musical and Best Scenic Design of a Musical. The show had an admirable journey from a small Off-Off Broadway theatre, through multiple Off-Broadway runs, and finally to the main stage of Broadway, with a star, Josh Groban, in the lead role of Pierre. Once Groban departed the show on July 2, 2017, however, the matter of re-casting became tricky. The producers announced that Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan would take over the role, and while he was just getting into the swing of things in his performances, it was announced that Mandy Patinkin would kick him out early. After an uproar from fans, neither actor ended up continuing the run, and the show was forced to close on September 3, 2017. Nevertheless, this past week showed a great surge of support for Natasha, Pierre in its final week of performances. In the week ending September 3, 2017, the show brought in a weekly gross of $1,183,228, or 110.18% of gross potential, which is an increase of $208,948 from the week before. With a top ticket price of $247.00, the average paid admission was $130.64, and the audience was filled up to 99.5% of capacity. While this was not the highest weekly gross of the run, it was the 13th highest, and the highest in two months. The highest ever weekly gross for Natasha, Pierre was achieved in Josh Groban’s final week of performances, the week ending July 2, 2017, when the gross was $1,409,877, or 106.54% of its gross potential.
Beyond the significant increase of $208,948 shown by Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, the overall Broadway industry experienced a healthy upsurge this past week. Of the 28 shows running, the overall increase industry-wide was $1,530,400 from the week before. Whereas the previous week had a per-show average gross of $941,753, this past week the average weekly gross per show was $996,410. After Natasha, Pierre, the next biggest increase was seen by Beautiful, which went up by $134,615 to reach a weekly gross of $808,927. In addition, School of Rock went up by $122,030 to reach a weekly gross of $939,403, Groundhog Day went up by $120,174 to reach a weekly gross of $770,590, Waitress went up by $97,898 to reach a weekly gross of $698,042, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory went up by $87,480 to reach a weekly gross of $937,986, and Kinky Boots went up by $79,545 to reach a weekly gross of $752,838. Of the 28 shows running, only three saw a decrease in ticket sales. The biggest decrease was shown by The Lion King, which went down by $53,503 to reach a weekly gross of $1,999,796, which still represents 94.4% of its gross potential. In addition, The Terms of My Surrender went down by $49,019 to reach a weekly gross of $304,916, and A Bronx Tale the Musical went down by $9,756 to reach a weekly gross of $645,230.