“Hello, Dolly!” Back on Top with Bette Midler
Last week’s box office was a dismal week across the board, but the most notable drop was due to Bette Midler’s absence for a week from Hello, Dolly!, during which the performances were led by her replacement, Donna Murphy. The results from Bette’s vacation were astounding, and the rebound is just as notable. This past week, the week ending September 17, 2017, Hello, Dolly! brought in the second highest weekly gross of any show on Broadway, trailing behind only Hamilton. In comparison to the week before, Hello, Dolly! demonstrated an increase of $1,408,402 in box office, bringing it to a weekly gross of $2,322,114, or 126.9% of gross potential. With a top ticket price of $748.00, the average paid admission was $199.19, and the audience capacity was filled up to an average of 89.7%. As for Hamilton, the weekly gross this past week was $2,932,511, which represents 111.7% of its gross potential. In terms of gross potential, Hello, Dolly! actually had the highest of any show this past week. Just behind Hello, Dolly! at 126.9% was this year’s Tony Award winner Dear Evan Hansen, which brought in a weekly gross of $1,664,830, or 120.9% of its gross potential. Next was Hamilton, with 111.7% of its gross potential, followed by Come From Away, with 102.9% of gross potential. It is interesting that Come From Away did so well in the week including the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, which makes up the show’s subject matter. As for Hello, Dolly!, it is back on top for now, and Bette Midler will continue in the role through most of the rest of this year.
This past week, of the 28 shows presently running, the collective Broadway box office gross was $26,613,188, which is an increase of $3,006,595 from the week before. This represents an average percentage reached of 71.29% of gross potential, and it is a per-show average weekly gross of $950,471, up from last week’s per-show average of $874,318. Besides the enormous increase experienced by Hello, Dolly!, the next biggest increase was seen by Bandstand, playing its final week of performances ending on September 17, 2017. Bandstand began performances on March 31, 2017, ahead of an opening night of April 26, 2017, and concluded its run after 166 performances, in addition to 24 preview performances. In its final week of performances, Bandstand brought in a weekly gross of $757,431, which is an increase of $217,724 from the week before, and which represents 75.0% of its gross potential. Over the course of its run, Bandstand averaged 55.77% of its gross potential, so the final week demonstrates a spike in interest with fans clamoring to see the show before it closed. After Bandstand, the next biggest increase in sales was seen by Groundhog Day, which went up by $204,106 to reach a weekly gross of $892,581, or 68.0% of its gross potential. In addition, Kinky Boots went up by $127,111 to reach a weekly gross of $844,456, War Paint went up by $106,713 to reach a weekly gross of $615,786, Waitress went up by $103,721 to reach a weekly gross of $696,726, and Beautiful went up by $97,304 to reach a weekly gross of $906,680. Only three shows experienced a decrease in ticket sales this past week, and all were minimal: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory went down by $25,099, Hamilton went down by $21,358, and Dear Evan Hansen went down by $13,598.