Jennifer R Jones

About Jennifer R Jones

With over 20 years experience in the Broadway field, including marketing, production, development and show 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.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/30/2014

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

“The Illusionists” Launching Onto The Scene

In the week ending November 23, 2014, The Illusionists – Witness the Impossible began previews. With only seven performances since the first preview on November 26, 2014, the show brought in a first weekly gross of $1,048,858. Though this only represents 76.07% of the show’s gross capacity, that is still a huge amount out of the gates. With a top ticket price of $175.00, the show’s average paid ticket was $107.44, which represents little to no discounting. This magic spectacle show is different from the average Broadway fare. Opening over Thanksgiving weekend, the show was a major draw for tourists who were looking for something a little less intellectual and a little more spectacular. It will wait to be seen whether the show’s grosses continue to pick up as word of mouth spreads and reviews come out, but for now this show appears to be doing very well on the Great White Way.

An Overall High Week on Broadway

This past week, of the 36 shows presently running on Broadway, all but five saw an increase in ticket sales from the week before. Those five that saw a decline were Love Letters (went down by $102,662), The Last Ship (went down by $38,645), The Real Thing (went down by $24,509), Disgraced (went down by $20,904), and Honeymoon in Vegas (went down by $14,859). All the rest of the shows saw an increase in sales. Other than The Illusionists – Witness the Impossible, which began previews this week and therefore saw a huge increase from zero the week before, the highest increase was seen by Wicked, which increased by $979,623. Following next was The Lion King with an increase of $711,252, Matilda with an increase of $690,490, and The Phantom of the Opera with an increase of $454,438. Overall, this increase can be explained by the fact that it was Thanksgiving weekend, so tourists were crawling all over the city in great numbers, comparably to over the summer season. They therefore flocked to the more tourist-friendly fare, such as these big blockbuster musicals.

“It’s Only a Play” Playing in the Musical Leagues

Since it began previews, It’s Only a Play has made over one million dollars in every full performance week. It is squarely amidst a slew of musical in this range of numbers. It could not be more clear that it is only a play, not a musical, and still tourists and locals alike are flocking to it. This is clearly due to the A-list cast, as the reviews were only mild.


The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending November 30, 2014:Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis-11-30-14

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A DELICATE BALANCE $807,472 5,650 88.06% $142.92
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $974,924 7,046 96.47% $138.37
ALADDIN $1,759,955 13,784 100.00% $127.68
BEAUTIFUL $1,405,434 8,026 97.78% $175.11
CABARET $948,085 7,101 99.40% $133.51
CHICAGO $583,103 6,614 76.55% $88.16
CINDERELLA $1,115,935 13,197 94.21% $84.56
DISGRACED $412,694 5,009 68.21% $82.39
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $653,674 6,135 87.03% $106.55
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS $351,277 5,078 54.86% $69.18
IF/THEN $615,096 6,452 61.52% $95.33
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $1,354,791 8,002 93.57% $169.31
JERSEY BOYS $920,735 7,913 80.55% $116.36
KINKY BOOTS $1,314,521 10,293 90.35% $127.71
LES MISÉRABLES $992,609 9,806 86.99% $101.22
LOVE LETTERS $309,103 3,978 53.21% $77.70
MAMMA MIA! $662,155 7,334 78.62% $90.29
MATILDA $1,454,493 11,463 100.06% $126.89
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $1,011,459 9,200 76.31% $109.94
ON THE TOWN $885,138 8,975 59.87% $98.62
ONCE $563,704 6,362 75.09% $88.60
PIPPIN $670,217 6,847 86.45% $97.88
ROCK OF AGES $360,759 3,664 78.56% $98.46
SIDE SHOW $466,970 5,800 55.64% $80.51
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,875,135 8,751 102.61% $214.28
THE ELEPHANT MAN $958,970 6,219 100.44% $154.20
THE ILLUSIONISTS – WITNESS THE IMPOSSIBLE $1,048,858 9,762 89.11% $107.44
THE LAST SHIP $458,563 6,418 59.47% $71.45
THE LION KING $2,422,719 13,602 100.01% $178.11
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,131,137 11,319 88.15% $99.93
THE REAL THING $451,370 5,220 88.18% $86.47
THE RIVER $906,275 5,629 101.10% $161.00
THIS IS OUR YOUTH $341,572 4,977 58.64% $68.63
WICKED $2,432,132 15,714 96.52% $154.77
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $548,572 5,479 63.83% $100.12
Totals: $34,121,642 284,569 82.85% $115.18

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014

Stephen Colbert Gets Letterman Slot, Jon Stewart Ponders Future

Jon Stewart’s Contract is Up at the End of the Year

jon stewartJon Stewart has hosted The Daily Show on Comedy Central since 1999. This half-hour long late night satirical television show premiered in 1996 under the helm of Craig Kilborn, but it quickly became Stewart’s domain, and he has steered the ship ever since. It is a self-described fake news program, covering politics and the national media. The second longest running show on the network, The Daily Show has won 18 Primetime Emmy Awards. In a recent interview in The Hollywood Reporter, Stewart remarked that, like with anything if you do it long enough, there are aspects that come to feel like a grind. With Stephen Colbert recently promoted to the slot held by David Letterman in the CBS program The Late Show, it is clear that the talk show royalty is undergoing a transition. With Stewart’s contract up at the end of the year, he is pondering a transition as well. After all, Stewart was one of the major contenders to host The Late Show, and with Colbert securely in that role for years to come, he is looking to other avenues for his creative and professional outlets.

Jon Stewart’s Film Directorial Career

In June 2013, Stewart took a twelve week hiatus from hosting The Daily Show in order to direct a feature film called Rosewater. The film,rosewater which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and was shopped around to distributors at the Toronto Film Festival this past September, is a drama about a journalist who ended up imprisoned in Iran for four months. The shoot took place in Amman, Jordan, and difficulties were encountered such as an overlap with the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, as well as the given long days and rigorous work schedule facing any feature film, as opposed to cable television. Stewart has inevitably faced a great deal of criticism for taking on such a controversial topic, and yet he has also encountered a lot of appreciation from his fans, who are happy to see him branch out into other realms of entertainment. In this light, it will be interesting to watch how Stewart’s career unfolds in upcoming years. Will he allow his contract to expire without renewing? Will he continue on this new track of directing feature films?

Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”

Whether it happens at the end of this year or not, it is unclear who will eventually take over Stewart’s throne on The Daily Show. Still, other changes are happening at the network. They just added two new writers: Hasan Minhaj and Trevor Noah. Minjah will replace the seat recently vacated by Michael Che as correspondent, and Noah will be a contributing writer starting this December. Like always, the show is staying fresh with new comedic voices, while Stewart sits comfortably in the pilot’s seat. Interestingly, the captivated audience of Daily Show fans often considers the show their primary news source, despite the fact that Stewart goes out of his way to make the show satirical. In spite of this, Stewart does have real news underneath the layers of satire. He co-authored several books including the 2004 bestselling America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction, which also dug its teeth into real issues underneath the jokes. In any case, Stewart is undeniably a pop culture icon in and of himself, independent of his role on The Daily Show, as proven when he hosted the Academy Awards in 2006 and 2008.

Disney Announces Unprecedented Ticket Exchange Policy

Ticketholders for “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” Can Swap Dates

The Lion King Broadway Musical, logoTwo of Disney’s most popular animated films have become two of their most exciting stage musicals. For the Broadway productions of both Aladdin and The Lion King, Disney Theatrical Productions has announced that ticketholders can exchange their tickets for another performance time, up until 2 hours before curtain. There will be a $12 ticket exchange fee for each change transaction, excepting cases in which the change happens less than 24 hours after the purchase was made. Also, the exchange must happen in the same way that the purchase was originally transacted: either at the box office, the Disney on Broadway hotline, or online via Ticketmaster. Though this announcement applies to both Aladdin and The Lion King, theatregoers must stick with the production they originally chose; there is no exchange allowed between tickets for the two shows. Still, this flexibility is sure to please audience members for both shows alike, thereby perhaps encouraging seeing both to take advantage of the scheme.

An Unprecedented Move, So Why Now?

Generally, purchasing tickets to a Broadway show is seen as a non-refundable commitment, requiring all other scheduling to Aladdin on Broadwayaccommodate the unchanging requirements of the time as originally selected. Therefore, this decision by Disney completely changes the nature of the Broadway ticket-buying marketplace. It’s possible that if this proves to be a successful incentive for choosing these shows over other offerings, that other producers may follow suit. The disincentive for this flexibility is that producers and managers need to keep careful track of each performance, understanding when they need to discount, offer complimentary tickets, or implement dynamic pricing to suit the availability of each performance. Disney has the unusual flexibility to engage this policy because both shows are such consistent hits, so even if theatregoers change their minds last minute, Disney is confident they can fill up those seats either at the TDF booth, box office, or online, still continuing with a steady stream of profits. And furthermore, Disney may benefit quite strongly from this $12 change fee, which may seem slight at the time of change, but could definitely add up to another significant revenue stream for the organization.

“The Lion King” and “Aladdin”

The Lion King is undoubtedly one of Broadway’s biggest hits, having run at the Minskoff Theatre at top box office grosses since it began performances on October 15, 1997. It has now played for over 7000 performances, generally with weekly grosses between $1.5 million and $2.5 million. With music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, the production was directed by Julie Taymor and choreographed by Garth Fagan, famously utilizing giant puppets to simulate the animals of the kingdom with human dancers inside them. Aladdin is a much newer production, having only begun previews on February 26, 2014 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Still, it quickly rose to the top of the box office charts, consistently earning grosses between $1.2 million and $1.6 million. Perhaps Disney is attempting to get Aladdin up to the league of The Lion King, incentivizing ticketbuyers by grouping the two shows together with this flexible policy. In any case, the brand power from the animated films of both of these shows will certainly live on.

“The Real Thing” Opens on Broadway

A Stoppard Play with an All-Star Cast

the-real-thing-pink-and-blackOn October 30, 2014, The Real Thing opened at the American Airlines Theatre, one of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s three Broadway venues. The play, a classic by Tom Stoppard (Arcadia, Rock n Roll, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead) originally produced in 1982, was directed by Sam Gold, a relative newcomer who has taken New York theatre by storm with such productions as The Realistic Joneses, Seminar, and many Off-Broadway hits. With such a creative team behind it, the production was able to a number of Hollywood stars. Two are making their Broadway debuts: Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight, Donnie Darko, White House Down) and Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Big Fish, Star Wars). Furthermore, the show stars Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City, Broadway productions including Wit, Rabbit Hole, Angels in America) as well as Josh Hamilton (Dead Accounts, The Coast of Utopia, Proof). With all of these powerhouse names behind it, the show was destined to be a critical hit. However, something the perfect ingredients do not make the perfect stew, and in this case, the result was sadly underwhelming.

Mixed Reviews from Critics

The most influential of New York theatre critics, Ben Brantley of The New York Times, gave The Real Thing a review that was all but playwright Tom Stoppard event gray whitedisdainful. He called the revival “tinny,” and claimed that the production lacked any real evidence of chemistry between the performers, or any sort of deep feelings in general. The beauty of Stoppard’s work often lies in the fact that his words may be highly complex and intellectual, but there is a deep humanity bubbling beneath the surface. Brantley’s view is that this production (due to a mixture of casting and directing) lacked that crucial underlayer. Other reviewers were less critical, falling prey to the combination of writing and fame onstage that can persuade the audience they are enjoying a well-done production. Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press, for example, thought the revival was thoroughly excellent, and enjoyed the interspersed tunes that Sam Gold opted to include between scenes, often hummed along by the actors. Thom Geier of Entertainment Weekly also praised the production, perhaps delighted merely to see his Hollywood favorites onstage. He claimed Gyllenhaal’s performance oozed poise and sophistication, which may be true, but the argument could also be made that the softness beneath was missing. David Rooney from the Hollywood Reporter was more on the fence, correctly praising Ewan McGregor’s Broadway debut for the professional excellence of his performance, but also calling Gold’s direction “hollow.”

Struggling at the Box Office

It is always interesting to follow how the combination of recognizable playwright, famous actors, and critical response has on the box office. In this case, audiences were not moved by the result, certainly not enough to make this show stand out financially. The show has never reached more than 77.56% of its gross potential in any given week, and the weekly numbers have been squarely in the $400,000 range for each week. With stars such as McGregor, Gyllenhaal, and Nixon onstage, this is almost an insult. And for the true theatre aficionados, the fact that a Stoppard play would be given this treatment is just a shame. However, given that the revival is produced by Roundabout, a not-for-profit theatre institution with an endowment and a subscriber base to keep it afloat, the show will likely be able to play out its intended limited run. The show is scheduled to close on January 4, 2015.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/23/2014

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

New Show: “Honeymoon in Vegas”

On November 18, 2014, Honeymoon in Vegas began previews at the Nederlander Theatre. With music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (Parade, Bridges of Madison County), a book by Andrew Bergman, and based off the motion picture of the same name, this musical is directed by Gary Griffin and choreographed by Denis Jones. The musical stars Tony Danza, Rob McClure, Brynn O’Malley, and Matthew Saldivar. In its first week of previews, it played seven performances and brought in a preliminary weekly gross of $366,136. This is really not that spectacular, given that the show has the potential of bringing in $983,218, so that represented only 37.24% of the show’s gross potential. With a top ticket price of $233.00, the average paid admission was $69.24, demonstrating a heavy amount of discounting. It is a shame that a maestro composer such as Jason Robert Brown has time and again resorted to working on movie to musical adaptations, which are meant to be commercial but don’t even succeed in that regard.

An Overall Slow Week for Broadway

In the week ending November 23, 2014, the entire Broadway community saw an overall increase in gross sales of $261,421. That is barely a move at all, but on an individual sow basis, all but 13 saw a decrease in sales. Other than Honeymoon in Vegas, which began previews and thus increased from zero, the highest increase was seen by The Lion King, which brought in $1,711,467, representing an increase of $183,478 from the week prior. Increases were also seen by The River, Cabaret, Wicked, Cinderella, and Aladdin. Still, these increases were slight in comparison with their potential grosses. The following week, which included the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, ended up being much stronger. However, this week was a slow gearing up for the impending holidays, which are sure to make a difference in the otherwise slow winter season. As tourists flock to New York, these numbers will be sure to increase.


The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending November 23, 2014:

Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis- w/e 11-23-14

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A DELICATE BALANCE $745,933 6,356 99.06% $117.36
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $775,336 6,939 95.63% $111.74
ALADDIN $1,372,657 13,737 99.66% $99.92
BEAUTIFUL $1,279,198 7,974 97.15% $160.42
CABARET $816,760 6,701 93.80% $121.89
CHICAGO $419,363 5,339 61.79% $78.55
CINDERELLA $680,334 8,934 63.78% $76.15
DISGRACED $433,598 5,212 70.97% $83.19
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $548,527 5,590 79.30% $98.13
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS $366,136 5,288 65.29% $69.24
IF/THEN $502,191 7,168 68.34% $70.06
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $1,342,409 8,417 98.42% $159.49
JERSEY BOYS $727,159 7,132 72.60% $101.96
KINKY BOOTS $1,100,608 10,077 88.46% $109.22
LES MISÉRABLES $617,818 7,960 70.62% $77.62
LOVE LETTERS $411,765 4,764 63.72% $86.43
MAMMA MIA! $491,950 6,236 66.85% $78.89
MATILDA $764,003 8,418 73.48% $90.76
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $981,245 10,303 85.46% $95.24
ON THE TOWN $795,604 9,912 66.12% $80.27
ONCE $425,226 5,383 63.54% $78.99
PIPPIN $367,437 4,997 63.09% $73.53
ROCK OF AGES $296,522 3,533 75.75% $83.93
SIDE SHOW $419,203 7,397 70.96% $56.67
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,579,606 8,742 102.51% $180.69
THE COUNTRY HOUSE $146,741 3,439 66.13% $42.67
THE ELEPHANT MAN $938,509 6,211 100.31% $151.10
THE LAST SHIP $497,208 7,222 66.92% $68.85
THE LION KING $1,711,467 13,503 99.29% $126.75
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $676,699 8,266 64.38% $81.87
THE REAL THING $475,879 5,441 91.91% $87.46
THE RIVER $882,153 5,621 100.95% $156.94
THIS IS OUR YOUTH $287,243 4,533 53.40% $63.37
WICKED $1,452,509 12,670 87.55% $114.64
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $467,067 5,057 58.91% $92.36
Totals: $26,699,450 262,452 79.00% $98.32

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014

“The Country House” Closes on Broadway

A Limited, but Extended, Run

country houseOn September 9, 2014, The Country House began previews at the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway venue, the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. The show had its official opening on October 2, 2014. Yesterday, November 23, 2014, the show played its final performance of the run. Though the show opened to mixed reviews and consistently brought in less than remarkable results at the box office, it extended from its originally announced closing date of November 9, 2014. If this were a normal commercial Broadway production mounted by independent commercial producers, then the show would have been likely to close early, rather than to extend. However, as MTC has a unique advantage by being a not-for-profit theatre institution with the capacity to produce on Broadway, it is able to rely on its endowment as well as its base of subscribers to sell a certain number of tickets, as well as to float through financial losses. The only other organization that rivals MTC in this advantage is the Roundabout Theatre Company, which has three venues on Broadway: the American Airlines Theatre, Studio 54, and the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

Blythe Danner as Anna Patterson

In The Country House, Blythe Danner stars as a woman named Anna Patterson, a glamorous actress who is frustrated by the tensions ofcountry house a play she is in at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in rural Massachusetts. The play is written by Donald Margulies, an MTC regular whose past works have included Time Stands Still, Brooklyn Boy, and Sight Seen. The director was Daniel Sullivan, who has helmed such Broadway productions as The Snow Geese, Orphans, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Columnist, and The Merchant of Venice. Starring alongside Blythe Danner were Kate Jennings Grant (The Lyons), Eric Lange, David Rasche (To Be or Not To Be, Getting and Spending), Sarah Steele (Off-Broadway’s Russian Transport), and Daniel Sunjata (Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac). The play transferred to Broadway after a successful run at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse where its world premiere occurred on June 11, 2014. Almost the entire cast, including Danner, traveled with the show from LA to New York.

A Semi-Flop, But Good Enough

It is a sad state of the industry that a play that receives consistently mediocre reviews can still be produced on Broadway, simply due to the experience of the writer and director, as shepherded by an established theatre institution, as well as the simple name of one famous actor headlining the cast. In this case, Donald Margulies has had some great successes, but The Country House is not truly one of them. However, an organization like MTC would rather turn to a tried and true writer with an uninteresting new play, believing they can satisfy their subscriber base and continue to appear cutting edge. However, the reality is that it is the least innovative approach the organization can take, and they are faced with their own kind of internal bureaucracy. It appears that it is actually up to independent producers to blaze through the established norms to try out daring productions such as The River and One Man, Two Guvnors, which manage to fly on their own merits.

BET Makes Popular TV show “106 and Park” Online Only

Last Episode to Air December 19th

106 and parkBET has announced that the final episode for its 16-year running TV show 106 and Park will air on December 19, 2014. This music video countdown show, compared by some as the urban TRL, will continue to be aired on Since it first began to air in the fall of 2000, it has been BET’s highest rated show for viewers aged 18 to 49. Stars seen on the show have included musical superstars Alicia Keys, Brandy Norwood, Ciara, Mary J. Blige, and Kanye West, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama and basketball star Dwayne Rade. The show has been filmed from the CBS Broadcast Center in midtown Manhattan ever since Viacom bought the channel, though it was originally produced in Harlem at the eponymous location.

Not a Cancellation, but a New Digital Brandbet trina

BET is billing this transition to digital-only as a new brand move, rather than a cancellation from cable television, which would previously have been considered a major retreat. They are calling it the new hottest hangout and on BET, one of the coolest online platforms. This is likely a good move, as many young viewers are primarily watching content online anyway. If all of those viewers adopt the new method of viewing their same favorite show from their computers, phones, and tablets, then BET will gain online royalty status to the kin of Netflix, therefore indeed reinforcing their online brand.

106 and Park

The current hosts are Bow Wow and Keshia Chante, and previous hosts have included Angela Simmons, Miss Mykle, Paigion, Shorty da Prince, Terrence J, Rocsi, Big Tigger, Julissa Bermudez, A.J. Calloway, and Free. It was first broadcast at 60 minutes, and has steadily grown in duration. The show is generally two hours long, although it sometimes is 90 minutes depending on the channel’s scheduling for the day. It is originally broadcast in the late night, early morning time of 2am/1am central, and has since played afternoons. Specials will continue to be aired on occasions such as the New Years Eve special 106 and PARTY.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/16/2014

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

A Low Week in the Broadway Fall Ebb and Flow

In the past few weeks, Broadway seems to be fluctuating between high weeks and low weeks. The week ending November 16, 2014 was one of the low weeks. Of the 35 shows presently running, only 7 of them saw an increase in ticket sales from the week before. The highest increase was seen by The Elephant Man, only because this was its first full week of eight performances. Of the other six shows that saw an increase, that increase was very slight: always under $100,000. Love Letters increased from $393,746 last week to $483,280 this week, which was only an increase of $89,534, and even then the show only brought in 61.89% of its gross capacity. Other increases were seen by Side Show (an increase of only $35,819, still only at 38.74% gross capacity), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (increased only by $11,242, and was already at over 90% gross potential), as well as On the Town, Once, and Cinderella, each of which only saw an increase of under $10,000. Otherwise, significant decreases were seen by shows including Wicked (decrease of $259,397) and The Lion King (decrease of $209,740).

High Grossing Plays

This fall season is shaping up to have a few solid box office contenders in terms of straight plays. The biggest non-tuner winner appears to be It’s Only a Play, which last week brought in $1,370,168 and has consistently been over the million dollar mark in every full performance week since it began its run. However, that show is less likely to score big in the Tony Awards, as its box office success is due mostly to the show’s stars including Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, and Rupert Grint. The Elephant Man, starring Bradley Cooper, is shaping up to be another big box office winner, having earned $966,896 last week in its first full performance week. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time continued its winning streak last week with a gross of $907,142, as audiences are drawn to this spectacular drama transferred from London. Finally, Jez Butterworth’s The River is a top earner with its headliner Hugh Jackman, having earned $723,882 this past week, and having earned close to a million dollars last week. Not only is Jackman generally understood to be box office gold, but Butterworth has quickly guilt a reputation as an unmissable playwright ever since his success with Jerusalem, and this box office success is all the more notable due to the tiny size of the Circle in the Square Theatre.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending November 16, 2014:

Broadway Show Ticket Analysis w/e 11-16-14


Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A DELICATE BALANCE $852,393 6,416 100.00% $132.85
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $788,831 6,885 94.89% $114.57
ALADDIN $1,328,493 13,237 96.03% $100.36
BEAUTIFUL $1,318,454 8,222 100.17% $160.36
CABARET $686,271 6,106 85.47% $112.39
CHICAGO $413,434 5,372 62.18% $76.96
CINDERELLA $631,822 8,518 60.81% $74.17
DISGRACED $471,373 5,569 75.83% $84.64
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $607,949 6,308 89.49% $96.38
IF/THEN $466,852 6,975 66.50% $66.93
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $1,370,168 8,479 99.15% $161.60
JERSEY BOYS $727,348 6,994 71.19% $104.00
KINKY BOOTS $1,142,851 10,114 88.78% $113.00
LES MISÉRABLES $603,883 7,315 64.90% $82.55
LOVE LETTERS $483,280 5,603 74.95% $86.25
MAMMA MIA! $483,950 6,181 66.26% $78.30
MATILDA $744,214 8,578 74.88% $86.76
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $997,824 10,157 84.25% $98.24
ON THE TOWN $843,648 10,345 69.00% $81.55
ONCE $462,158 5,652 66.71% $81.77
PIPPIN $397,603 5,210 65.78% $76.32
ROCK OF AGES $323,042 3,718 79.72% $86.89
SIDE SHOW $449,747 8,957 85.93% $50.21
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,594,690 8,751 102.61% $182.23
THE COUNTRY HOUSE $187,209 3,641 70.02% $51.42
THE ELEPHANT MAN $966,896 6,278 101.39% $154.01
THE LAST SHIP $536,449 6,648 61.60% $80.69
THE LION KING $1,527,989 13,319 97.93% $114.72
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $715,131 8,450 65.81% $84.63
THE REAL THING $455,145 5,512 93.11% $82.57
THE RIVER $723,882 5,695 102.28% $127.11
THIS IS OUR YOUTH $322,033 4,772 56.22% $67.48
WICKED $1,361,772 12,283 84.87% $110.87
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $544,105 5,708 66.50% $95.32
Totals: $26,438,028 259,956 80.67% $99.19

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014

“The Elephant Man” Begins Previews

Bradley Cooper As a Disfigured Protagonist

bradley cooper elephant manOn November 7, 2014, The Elephant Man began previews at the Booth Theatre. It will have its official opening night on December 7, 2014. Set in Victorian England, The Elephant Man was originally written in 1977 by Bernard Pomerance, and the original Broadway production was in 1979. At that time, it won three Tony Awards, those for Best Play, Best Direction of a Play (Jack Hofsiss), and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Carole Shelley). It also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, and it was also selected for inclusion in The Burns Mantle Theater Yearbook as one of the Best Plays of 1978-1979. In 2002, a Broadway revival starring Billy Crudup was nominated for two acting Tony Awards but won neither. This production stars Bradley Cooper as the eponymous Elephant Man (whose name is actually John Merrick), and it is directed by 6-time Tony nominee Scott Ellis. Cooper stars alongside Patricia Clarkson as Mrs. Kendal and Alessandro Nivola as Frederick Treves.

Cooper’s Star Attraction

Bradley Cooper first played the role of John Merrick in a 2012 production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. This is his second timeelephant man on Broadway, having also played the roles of Pip and Theo in a 2006 production of Three Days of Rain. Also, at the 2008 Williamstown Theatre Festival, he played the role of Jake in The Understudy. However, he is much better known for his performances on the screen. He has starred in such films as American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook (receiving Academy Award nominations for them both), The Place Beyond the Pines, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hangover trilogy, and many more titles. Bradley Cooper is a beloved actor, as seen by the notable box office success of The Elephant Man thus far. In its first week of four performances, it has already grossed $520,087, which represents 113.36% of its gross potential. Furthermore, with a top ticket price of $298.00, it had an average paid ticket admission of $163.45, which represents little to no discounting. Of the 3,096 total seats across those four performances, it sold a miraculous 3,182 of them (accounted for by the premium ticket sales).

The Story of the Elephant Man

It is clearly the star attraction of Bradley Cooper, rather than the flashy subject matter, that has drawn such numbers to the box office. However, though it may not be superficially engaging, the storyline of the play is also excellent. It is based on the real life story of Joseph Merrick, a 19th century British man who suffered from extreme bodily deformity. He became a star of the freak show circuit, until a doctor takes him under his wing to study. He ends up being amazed by Merrick’s intellect, faith, and longing for love and loyalty. A romantic subplot emerges when Dr. Treves introduces Merrick to the beautiful Mrs. Kendal, who also sees his truly touching nature. However, Mrs. Kendal is not single, and there is a complex underlayer to their friendship, as she wants to protect him from the corruption of the real world. The Elephant Man is therefore a love story, but it is also the story of a man cut apart from the universe yet who still manages to maintain a virulent humanity. Interestingly, The Elephant Man is always performed without extravagant special effects stage makeup, so that Bradley Cooper displays the deformity through physicality alone.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/09/2014

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

A Complete 180 From Last Week

Whereas the previous week was a particularly low one for the Broadway box office, the week ending November 9, 2014 was a complete turnaround. Of the 35 shows presently running on Broadway, only three saw a decrease in sales from the week before: The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia! (which are both long-running musicals for which this slight decrease isn’t particularly significant), and The Country House (a play struggling to stay afloat). Otherwise, the week was a serious improvement for most shows. In terms of increase from this week as compared to last week, the top earner was Jez Butterworth’s The River starring Hugh Jackman, which grossed $568,906 more this week than the week before (where it had only played its first partial week of 3 performances). In its first full week of eight performances, The River grossed $917,008, representing 104.89% of its gross potential, and selling 102.7% of its seats across the week. The top grossing shows this past week were The Lion King at $1,737,729, The Book of Mormon at $1,638,827, Wicked at $1,621,169, Aladdin at $1,410,648, and It’s Only a Play at $1,375,174 – all of which showed a substantial increase from the week before.

New Show: “The Elephant Man”

The Elephant Man began previews on November 7, 2014, with just 4 performances in its first week. It has exited with a bang, having grossed $520,087 across four performances, which represents 113.36% of its gross capacity. With a top ticket price of $298.00, the average paid ticket was the remarkable $163.45. Of the total 3,096 seats, there were somehow 3,182 of them sold. This show stars Bradley Cooper, a major Hollywood favorite who is well-known for his roles in such films as Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Place Beyond the Pines, and The Hangover Trilogy. He was nominated for Academy Awards for both Silver Linings Playbook (Best Actor) and American Hustle (Best Supporting Actor). In The Elephant Man, he plays a disfigured man in Britain who uses purely his own physicality, rather than makeup or special effects, to convey the disability. This is his second time on Broadway; his first was the role of Pip and Theo in 2006’s Three Days of Rain.


The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending November 9, 2014:Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis-11-09-14

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A DELICATE BALANCE $857,375 6,416 100.00% $133.63
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $815,750 6,801 93.73% $119.95
ALADDIN $1,410,648 13,171 95.55% $107.10
BEAUTIFUL $1,330,829 8,214 100.07% $162.02
CABARET $741,877 6,379 89.29% $116.30
CHICAGO $479,182 5,926 68.59% $80.86
CINDERELLA $629,743 8,408 60.02% $74.90
DISGRACED $512,646 6,500 88.51% $78.87
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $624,148 6,370 90.37% $97.98
IF/THEN $569,810 7,556 72.04% $75.41
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $1,375,174 8,544 99.91% $160.95
JERSEY BOYS $826,987 7,909 80.51% $104.56
KINKY BOOTS $1,147,857 9,719 85.31% $118.10
LES MISÉRABLES $683,328 8,168 72.46% $83.66
LOVE LETTERS $393,746 5,086 59.53% $77.42
MAMMA MIA! $586,427 7,549 80.93% $77.68
MATILDA $892,409 9,892 86.35% $90.22
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $1,025,917 10,480 86.93% $97.89
ON THE TOWN $834,113 10,110 67.44% $82.50
ONCE $459,801 5,491 64.81% $83.74
PIPPIN $449,207 5,524 69.75% $81.32
ROCK OF AGES $323,107 3,778 81.00% $85.52
SIDE SHOW $413,928 7,135 78.23% $58.01
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,638,827 8,752 102.63% $187.25
THE COUNTRY HOUSE $209,004 3,722 71.58% $56.15
THE ELEPHANT MAN $520,087 3,182 102.78% $163.45
THE LAST SHIP $543,860 7,145 66.21% $76.12
THE LION KING $1,737,729 13,502 99.28% $128.70
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $720,968 8,710 67.83% $82.77
THE REAL THING $490,862 5,823 98.36% $84.30
THE RIVER $917,008 5,716 102.66% $160.43
THIS IS OUR YOUTH $349,111 4,805 56.61% $72.66
WICKED $1,621,169 13,524 93.45% $119.87
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $562,949 6,082 70.85% $92.56
Totals: $27,591,478 264,011 82.88% $102.46

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014