This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:
An unequivocal loss for Broadway
In the week ending June 1, 2014, without fail, every single Broadway show grossed less money than it did the week before. The fact that there was not a single exception to this fact is astonishing. It is true that last week was a particularly good week for Broadway, with the entire industry earning $1.5 million dollars more than it had the week previously. Still, the entire industry seems to have lost a “double or nothing” bet, as this week the gross was over $3 million less than it was last week. The show that lost the least was Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which only grossed $3,232 less than it had the week before. The biggest loser was Pippin, which earned only $488,036, a loss of $206,509 from the week before. Still, despite this fact, four shows earned more than 100 percent of their gross potential (which is accounted for by the price of premium seats): these were Wicked which earned 107.35% of its potential, A Raisin in the Sun which grossed 108.45% of its potential, The Book of Mormon, which reaped in 117.07% of its potential, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which managed to earn 117.36% of its gross potential.
What could explain this phenomenon?
The previous week included Memorial Day weekend, during which tourists flocked to New York City, and New Yorkers took themselves out to the theatre. However, this past week, the number of theatregoers not only went back to its pre-Memorial Day levels, but also doubled its loss. Perhaps there was a saturation point with how much theatre people wanted to see, be they tourists or locals. Or, perhaps the bout of warm weather and the onslaught of June, marking the true arrival of summer, persuaded people to get out of town for the weekend. These are all just hypotheses, however, as the market of theatregoers ebbs and flows like any industry, and this week just happened to be a low.
Theatre subsidized by not-for-profits subsists despite low grosses
Shows performing on the lower end of the box office spectrum are often produced by not-for-profit theatre institutions. Act One, the Lincoln Center bio-play about Moss Hart, earned $395,328 this week, which was only 36.4% of its gross potential. Casa Valentina, the Tony Award nominated play by Harvey Fierstein about transvestitism in the 1960s, is staying afloat with a gross of only $245,811 because it is produced by Manhattan Theatre Club. Violet, a musical revival produced by Roundabout Theatre Company, earned only 47.37% of its gross potential, which is particularly low for a musical, and yet it is still surviving.
|A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER||$700,979||7,296||100.55%||$96.08|
|A RAISIN IN THE SUN||$1,185,576||8,368||100.00%||$141.68|
|ALL THE WAY||$912,915||8,151||71.65%||$112.00|
|BULLETS OVER BROADWAY||$718,220||7,989||61.27%||$89.90|
|HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH||$979,243||7,212||102.31%||$135.78|
|LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL||$492,306||4,431||92.82%||$111.10|
|MOTHERS AND SONS||$159,811||2,659||41.44%||$60.10|
|MOTOWN THE MUSICAL||$929,137||9,471||78.56%||$98.10|
|OF MICE AND MEN||$803,260||8,180||95.29%||$98.20|
|ROCK OF AGES||$291,010||3,696||79.25%||$78.74|
|THE BOOK OF MORMON||$1,628,410||8,752||102.63%||$186.06|
|THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN||$502,637||5,850||68.15%||$85.92|
|THE LION KING||$1,959,485||13,572||99.79%||$144.38|
|THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA||$964,875||11,376||88.60%||$84.82|
|THE REALISTIC JONESES||$432,608||5,372||77.01%||$80.53|
Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014 nytix.com
Jennifer R Jones
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