Broadway Takes a Plunge in Holiday Lead-Up

Major Downturn Across the Box Office Charts

hamilton-down1-253x177In the week ending November 19, 2017, the Broadway box office had a slow week.  Of the 31 shows currently running, 25 saw a decrease in ticket sales from the week before.  The collective gross across all shows was $31,147,317, which is a per-show average of $1,004,752.  This is a decrease of $1,330,097 from the previous week’s gross, which had a per-show average of $1,082,580.  With an average top ticket price of $317.27, the average paid admission across all shows was $125.77, and the shows collectively brought in an average of 74.79% of their gross potential.  The biggest decrease in ticket sales was actually seen by Hamilton, which went down by $316,777 to reach a weekly gross of $2,826,330, which represents 97.6% of its gross potential.  In addition, Wicked went down by $165,553 to reach a weekly gross of $1,464,141, Miss Saigon went down by $151,496 to reach a weekly gross of $596,738, The Lion King went down by $150,108 to reach a weekly gross of $1,758,185, and Kinky Boots went down by $123,621 to reach a weekly gross of $770,387.  For shows that played full performance weeks both of the last two weeks, the biggest increase was seen by The Band’s Visit, which earned excellent reviews after its opening night on November 9, 2017.  That show saw an increase of $180,099, bringing it to a weekly gross of $1,010,161, which represents 97.2% of its gross potential.  The Band’s Visit looks to be a stronger contender for this year’s awards season.

New Shows: “The Parisian Woman” and “Home for the Holidays”parisian woman

This past week, one new show began previews: Home for the Holidays, which is a holiday revue starring several winners of television reality talent contests.  This past week, the show played a partial week of five previews, bringing in an absolutely dismal box office gross.  Over those five performances, the total box office gross was just $51,300, which represents only 5.5% of its gross potential.  With an ambitious top ticket price of $397, the average paid admission was just $14.71, which not only represents stark discounting but also a serious amount of giving away free tickets.  The audience capacity on average across these five shows was filled up to just 56.8%, which still means that the majority of audience members were seeing the show free of charge.  This show will need some press and marketing efforts stat if it intends to survive even until the holidays, which is its entire point.  Meanwhile, Uma Thurman stars in The Parisian Woman, which played its first full week this past week, after beginning previews on November 9, 2017.  This show therefore had the biggest box office increase of any this past week, going up by $253,072 to reach a weekly gross of $832,844, which represents 80.3% of its gross potential.  With a top ticket price of $260, the average paid admission was $115.29, and the audience was filled up to 92.4% of capacity.  When the show opens on November 30, 2017, the reviews will determine whether it can keep up such hearty grosses, or whether it will fade into oblivion as awards season approaches.

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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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