“The Curious Incident” Recoups on Broadway

A Financial Coup for a Straight Play

curious incidentThis week, it was announced that the Broadway production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time has recouped its capitalization. The budget was reported to be $4.75 million, which is high for a straight play, though low compared to most musicals. This is therefore an extraordinary achievement, not only because it is a financial success with a high capitalization for its genre, but also because it is difficult and statistically unlikely for straight plays to recoup on Broadway in general. Whereas audiences generally flock to uplifting musicals with glitzy spectacle and catchy scores, it is more difficult for a play to gain traction and for positive word of mouth to spread enough for ticket sales to reach the level of profits. It is even more unusual for this to happen when there are no Hollywood stars leading the cast. The star of The Curious Incident is Alex Sharp, a recent Juilliard graduate who plays a 15 year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome (although this diagnosis is never specifically mentioned in the play).

A Transatlantic Success Storyalex sharp

However, this play does have one thing going for it that can be considered a predictable factor: that is transferred from London. It is more likely due to the fact that London breeds theatre of such immense quality due to a strong theatrical tradition, than that ticket buyers have a bias towards British content, that this is a trend. However, time and again, if a show transfers from London and gets good reviews, people take notice more than they might have with a homegrown production. For instance, One Man, Two Guv’nors was a critical and commercial hit that made its lead actor a talk show star in America. Like One Man, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time also transferred from the National Theatre via the West End. This play is based on a novel of the same name by Mark Haddon, which may have also contributed to its recognition, but most importantly the show has built up strong word of mouth due solely to excellent reviews from critics and audience members alike.

An Open Ended Run

Whereas most straight plays will announce limited engagements of 12, 16, or 20 weeks, and then perhaps announce an extension if the play is doing well, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time has not yet said when it will close. The open-ended run began with the first preview on September 10, 2014, and its official opening night was on October 5, 2014. It has since run for over 130 performances in addition to the 23 preview performances, and it may not be stopping anytime soon. Whereas only a quarter of shows ever enter profits, this play managed to do so after only 4 and a half months. This quirky play is said to be spectacular in design, brilliantly clever in construction, and flawless in execution, which overcomes its less than commercial subject matter and cast. The play is written by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott, who won the Tony Award for her direction of War Horse, another excellent example of a British transfer that won over America while still proving a great success at home.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 1/25/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

An Overall Slow Week

In the week ending January 25, 2015, only three shows demonstrated an increase in ticket sales from the week before. Those were The Elephant Man, Constellations, and The Last Ship. The Elephant Man went up by $357,369, which is an inflated figure due to the fact that the production played only five performances last week. In terms of percentage reached of potential gross, the performance actually went down from 111.75% to 110.23%, which is of course still extraordinary. The weekly gross for Constellations went up by $67,046, which is attributable to the recent opening and the ripple effect of positive word of mouth. Finally, The Last Ship went up as well, but only by $5,171, which may be due to the fact that Sting has entered the cast. Otherwise, the entire Broadway industry performed quite poorly this past week, with the remaining 24 shows decreasing in their weekly grosses.

A Dip For the Heavy Hitters

The biggest decrease was seen by It’s Only a Play, which went down from $693,963 last week to $462,008 this week. However, that is also a misleading figure as the play only had five performances this week. The next biggest decrease was seen by Wicked, often in the top two grossing shows each week. In the week ending January 25, 2015, however, Wicked brought in $1,500,725, which was a decrease of $183,939 from the week before. Still, it came in third in terms of weekly gross, behind only The Lion King and The Book of Mormon. Matilda also went down by $182,198, bringing in $805,176 which is only 63.16% of its gross potential. Aladdin, though still a top earner at $1,347,820, went down by $139,296 from the week before. Still, that brought it to earning 110.48% of its gross potential. Les Miserables also went down by $115,379, bringing it to a weekly gross of $609,270. Finally, the last show to exhibit a six figure decrease in weekly gross from the week before was The River, which went down by $106,452, bringing it to a weekly gross of $616,535.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending January 25, 2015:Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis-1-25-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A DELICATE BALANCE $562,850 4,941 77.01% $113.91
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $667,767 6,547 90.23% $102.00
ALADDIN $1,347,820 13,747 99.73% $98.04
BEAUTIFUL $1,047,501 7,637 93.04% $137.16
CABARET $911,305 7,004 98.04% $130.11
CHICAGO $427,273 5,787 66.98% $73.83
CONSTELLATIONS $499,445 5,155 99.13% $96.89
DISGRACED $360,932 4,928 67.10% $73.24
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $609,617 5,268 87.19% $115.72
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS $425,029 6,699 71.33% $63.45
IF/THEN $635,189 7,992 76.20% $79.48
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $462,008 4,722 87.69% $97.84
JERSEY BOYS $710,588 7,798 79.38% $91.12
KINKY BOOTS $1,001,877 9,890 86.82% $101.30
LES MISÉRABLES $609,270 8,391 74.44% $72.61
MAMMA MIA! $463,090 6,563 70.36% $70.56
MATILDA $805,176 10,110 88.25% $79.64
ON THE TOWN $624,882 9,035 60.27% $69.16
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,575,262 8,750 102.60% $180.03
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME $820,145 7,890 96.88% $103.95
THE ELEPHANT MAN $1,035,819 6,304 101.81% $164.31
THE LAST SHIP $843,445 9,459 87.65% $89.17
THE LION KING $1,641,207 13,056 96.00% $125.71
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $689,571 9,235 71.92% $74.67
THE RIVER $616,535 5,531 99.34% $111.47
WICKED $1,500,725 14,236 98.37% $105.42
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $441,995 5,613 65.39% $78.74
Totals: $21,336,320 212,288 84.93% $99.98

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com

“Honeymoon in Vegas” Opens on Broadway

Based Off the 1992 Film of the Same Name

Honeymoon in vegasOn January 15, 2015, Honeymoon in Vegas had its opening night at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre. It had been running in previews since November 18, 2014, which is an unusually long preview period of 66 performances. This fact would normally imply a lack of confidence about the quality of the material, allowing the creative team and cast an extra month to develop the show in front of live audiences prior to the critical reviews hitting the presses. However, the reviews are in, and they are largely positive. Most notably, Ben Brantley of The New York Times, who is known as the toughest and most important critic of the most important paper in this one-paper town, loved the show. This musical is based off the 1992 film of the same name, which wasn’t exactly a hit nor was it exactly a cult success. In any case, someone sometime ago decided it would make a good musical, and they got top theatrical composer Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years, The Bridges of Madison County) to sign on to the job. With a book by Andrew Bergman (who wrote and directed the film), the musical starred Tony Danza (who received raves for his leading performance), as well as Rob McClure (Chaplin) opposite Brynn O’Malley (Annie).

The Reviews Are In, and Critics are Impressedrob mcclure tony danza

When the musical played its pre-Broadway tryout run at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey in the fall of 2013, New York critics gave it positive reviews which encouraged the producers to make the leap over the Hudson river to the cut-throat Broadway turf. Fortunately, the most important critic – Ben Brantley of The New York Times – stood behind his praise. When the same critic voices in on a pre-Broadway run and then the Broadway run, it can go either way, but usually they are tempted to stick to their guns, and in this case that benefitted Honeymoon in Vegas wildly. Other critics followed suit – both David Cote from Time Out New York and Robert Kahn from NBC New York loved the show as well. Cote harked to the unbeatable position of Jason Robert Brown in Broadway composing royalty, and was equally a fan of the concept of seedy Las Vegas being represented with so much glitz on Broadway. Kahn was a huge fan of Tony Danza’s performance as the tough talking gangster Tommy Korman, and calls Brown’s score jackpot-winning. However, other reviewers were less laudatory. Marilyn Stasio from Variety was on the fence, enjoying the catchy songs and witty lyrics along with the savvy visuals, but ultimately could not get over the mindlessness of it. Similarly, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter felt that the show was ultimately slight, though he granted that the musical was better than he was expecting.

Will the Box Office Turn Around?

tony danzaIt’s difficult to say whether the financial figures will respond to these positive reviews, especially as the show has already been running for two months with lackluster box office performance. In the last reported week – the week ending January 18, 2015, the show saw a slight upturn but still only brought in a weekly gross of $440,476, which represents only 43.11% of the gross potential. With an average paid ticket of $57.51, the producers are clearly heavily discounting, which may have already damaged the brand value of the show such that it cannot recover, even with such positive reviews. However, there is hope with this renewed burst of lifeblood for the show, and optimism is riding high that it might stick around for a while on Broadway, adding a burst of hot Las Vegas silliness to the cold New York winter.

“Motown” Concludes Its Run with Plans to Return

The Critical and Commercial Hit Says Goodbye for Now

Vinyl record poster Motown the Musical Broadway Show On March 11, 2013, Motown the Musical began previews at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, a coveted Broadway house owned by the Nederlander organization. Its opening night was on April 14, 2013, where it received a round of highly positive reviews from critics. Since that time, the musical has played to generally full houses and financial success. The reportedly $18 million musical announced that it would recoup its capitalization by the time it closed, which happened this past week on January 18, 2015 after playing 738 performances (and 37 preview performances). The show was a regular member of the million dollar club on the weekly gross charts, but sales softened in the last season. With very high running costs reaching around $850,000, there was a lot of pressure to sell a full house of full price tickets in order to stay afloat. With that accomplished, the production has decided to shutter this present Broadway incarnation, focusing for the next 18 months on the London production and touring productions. Having decided to depart before sales turned sour, the musical will be thought of as a complete success.

An Unusual 18-Month Hiatus for “Motown the Musical”Motown the Musical Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder

More importantly, the producers have learned that they can mount the show with lower running costs. In the Broadway production, there are 41 performers in addition to 18 in the orchestra, but they found that the touring production was as much of a hit with only 33 actors and 15 in the pit. Though the producers do not plan on mounting the same pared down touring production when the show returns to Broadway in July 2016, the show may end up in the middle of those two versions. This will allow the production to lower its running costs, sustaining its endurance on Broadway for perhaps several or even many years longer. Of course, this is the goal of almost all musical producers: to have their show run as long as possible. It appears that in this case, the show’s creators determined that they would last longer if they took a breather. They made a deal with Nick Scandalios, a top executive in the Nederlander organization, who promised to give Motown a Nederlander theatre (no promises which) when it returns in July 2016. The reason the landlord agreed is that this allowed them to open up the desirable Lunt-Fontanne, which many other productions – including Harvey Weinstein’s Finding Neverland – are vying for.

In the Meantime, London and U.S. National Tour

The London production of this hit musical is planned to open this upcoming summer 2015. Employing another cost-saving strategy, the producers have decided to use the Broadway costumes and sets in the West End. If the London show is a hit beyond July 2016, they will likely have to make or acquire new sets and costumes, but that window leaves enough time for the show to open and close if it cannot find its legs in the West End. Either way, it is a smart strategy given the odds. In addition, the U.S. tour is ongoing and has just left Chicago. The first U.S. tour grossed $20 million over the course of 16 weeks, so the producers have a reason to be optimistic about the future of this musical, even if the Broadway production is temporarily closed.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 1/18/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

Motown Rises to the Occasion of its Final Week

In the week ending January 18, 2015, Motown was one of the highest grossing Broadway shows, beat only by the regular top earners The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, and Aladdin. It brought in $1,299,340, which was an increase of $213,298 from the previous week. The reason behind this upswing is that Motown played the final performance of its present run on that date: January 18, 2015. After a financially and critically successful run of 738 performances (and 37 preview performances), Motown the Musical decided to shutter its doors. However, in an unusual move, the producers announced that this closing would not be permanent, and that the show would take an 18-month hiatus and return in July 2016. In the meantime, a run will open in London, for which they will use the Broadway costumes and sets, thus saving some money. Also, a U.S. national tour which began in April 2014 is still running. Thus, Motown is not saying goodbye for long; it’s just using some innovative reasoning to take a break from Broadway. Nevertheless, in this past week, it demonstrated that fans still love the show, as the show managed its highest weekly gross in over a year, and the last month of performances have all been financially healthy as well.

Productions Showing a Drop in Sales

This past week, The Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper, which has been performing very well at the box office, saw a decrease in box office of $315,940, bringing in only $678,450. However, this decrease was due merely to the fact that the production played only 5 performances this past week, likely due to actor conflicts. In that light, the show still made 111.75% of its gross potential, and it’s therefore still doing very well. For the most part, the other shows that demonstrated a decrease in ticket sales from the week prior are the top-earning musicals that could afford a decline. After The Elephant Man, the biggest decrease was seen by The Lion King, which went down by $118,853. Still, in the scheme of things, this is not a big drop, as the mega-musical still brought in a weekly gross of $1,721,611, which was the top earning show this past week. Next, decreases were seen by Mamma Mia! (went down by $74,423 to a gross of $476,709), The Phantom of the Opera (went down by $66,507 to a gross of $747,735), Chicago (went down by $43,494 to a gross of $437,317), Jersey Boys (went down by $41,140 to a gross of $742,891), Les Misérables (went down by $35,041 to a gross of $724,649), and Beautiful (went down by $9,734 to a gross of $1,062,857). For the most part, these shows could handle the minors losses, and they are all still holding up on Broadway.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending January 18, 2015:
Broadway Show Ticket Analysis w/e 1/18/15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A DELICATE BALANCE $641,797 5,349 83.37% $119.98
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $749,039 6,926 95.45% $108.15
ALADDIN $1,487,116 13,785 100.01% $107.88
BEAUTIFUL $1,062,857 7,630 92.96% $139.30
CABARET $914,904 7,013 98.17% $130.46
CHICAGO $437,317 5,771 66.79% $75.78
CONSTELLATIONS $432,399 5,828 99.62% $74.19
DISGRACED $404,998 5,238 71.32% $77.32
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $692,620 6,633 94.10% $104.42
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS $440,476 7,659 81.55% $57.51
IF/THEN $651,330 8,377 79.87% $77.75
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $693,963 7,340 85.83% $94.55
JERSEY BOYS $742,891 8,032 81.76% $92.49
KINKY BOOTS $1,051,429 9,658 84.78% $108.87
LES MISÉRABLES $724,649 8,990 79.76% $80.61
MAMMA MIA! $476,709 6,333 67.89% $75.27
MATILDA $987,374 11,041 96.38% $89.43
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $1,299,340 12,196 89.92% $106.54
ON THE TOWN $649,289 9,863 65.79% $65.83
ROCK OF AGES $492,533 4,542 97.38% $108.44
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,659,010 8,752 102.63% $189.56
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME $883,489 8,101 99.47% $109.06
THE ELEPHANT MAN $678,450 3,978 102.79% $170.55
THE LAST SHIP $838,274 9,017 83.55% $92.97
THE LION KING $1,721,611 13,200 97.06% $130.43
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $747,735 9,402 73.22% $79.53
THE RIVER $722,987 5,698 102.33% $126.88
WICKED $1,684,664 14,310 98.88% $117.73
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $445,041 5,883 68.53% $75.65
Totals $24,414,288 236,545 87.63% $103.00

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com

“Rock of Ages” Concludes Its Run

A Runaway Hit with an 80s Jukebox Score

Rock of Ages Broadway Musical celebrates RocktoberfestOn March 17, 2009, a show called Rock of Ages opened at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway, having transferred from its Off-Broadway run at New World Stages, which followed its Los Angeles premiere in 2005 at a club on Hollywood Boulevard. This jukebox musical featured a book by Chris D’Arienzo along with a rocking score of 80s hits. Unlike other jukebox musicals that focus on one artist (The Four Seasons, Carole King, Abba, Queen, the list goes on), this musical decided to embrace an entire decade (the 80s) and the lifestyle that went with it: head-banging punk style, giant hopes and dreams, and a timeless love story. Though it was certainly not a surefire success, the show defied expectations and managed to run for almost six years and well over 2000 performances. In this time, it managed to gross over $125 million, well exceeding its capitalization and earning a huge amount of profit. Furthermore, a high budget film adaptation starring Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Alec Baldwin was released in 2012. Nevertheless, the show has finally wore out its welcome, as it has announced it will close on January 18, 2015.

Now Second Stage Can Purchase the Helen Hayes

Several Off-Broadway theatre companies have immortalized their presence in New York City while substantiating a higher profit margin by purchasing and producing in one or more Broadway venues (such as Roundabout and Manhattan Theater Club). Second Stage Theatre, which has held a prominent place in the Off-Broadway scene for many years from its central location at West 43rd Street and 8th Avenue, announced in 2008 that it planned to purchase the Helen Hayes Theatre, a desire Broadway venue due to its size, atmosphere, and location. Because Rock of Ages held on for so much longer than expected, this transaction was unable to take place. However, now that Rock of Ages is finally leaving town, Second Stage will be able to proceed with its plan. This will hopefully allow the company to thrive and contribute to the type of fare that manages to bridge the commercial with the quality-driven, an approach that not-for-profit theatre companies can more easily take than can commercial producers.

The Global Brand of “Rock of Ages” Will ContinueRock of Ages Broadway Show

Though the Broadway show will close, it has delighted countless audience members and has opened productions all over the world, many of which are still running. Versions of the show are still in operation in Mexico City, Las Vegas, and also on the Norwegian Cruise Line Breakaway. The show had its Asian English language premiere in Manila, the Philippines, where it presented the show in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The musical also played in Australia (Melbourne and Brisbane), as well as Toronto from 2010-11. In addition, two different U.S. National tours played, one in 2010-11, and a second tour (non-Equity) from 2011-14. This of course is in addition to the feature film, which was not a financial success; its budget was $75 million, but it only brought in $59.4 million in box office grosses. Still, with digital streaming, the movie will continue to bring in revenue, and the global brand of Rock of Ages will live on, long after the Broadway show closes.

“Constellations” Opens on Broadway

Jake Gyllenhaal Reunites With Playwright Nick Payne

constellations-large-643x441On December 16, 2014, Constellations began previews at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, the Broadway venue for Manhattan Theatre Club. The play opened on January 13, 2015 to unanimously positive reviews. The play is a two-hander starring Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountatin) and Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair). This production reunited Gyllenhaal with the playwright Nick Payne as well as the director Michael Longhurst, who all worked together on a Roundabout Theater Company Off-Broadway production of Payne’s play If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet in 2012. Both Payne and Longhurst are British theatre artists of great acclaim; Payne’s accolades include raves for Wanderlust and the Evening Standard Best Play Award for Constellations, and Longhurst has received great acclaim for his direction of works including Bad Jews, The World of Extreme Happiness, and Stovepipe.

The Critics Agree: This Show Is Phenomenalconstellations

Ben Brantley in The New York Times called Constellations “gorgeous” and the “most sophisticated” date play ever to be seen on Broadway. He commended the play for making physics seem sexy, and congratulated the production on inflating to fit the scale of Broadway beautifully. Adam Feldman in Time Out New York likewise loved the play, calling it “convincing,” lauding Gyllenhaal and Wilson for being “multiversatile,” and deeming Payne’s play smart without being dry. Marilyn Stasio in Variety found the play “dreamy” and “graceful,” comparing it to If/Then as another “Sliding Doors” style drama but deeming it much more successful at the approach. David Rooney in The Hollywood Reporter found the play “rich” and “emotionally direct,” distinguishing him from other British playwrights and deeming him a level above. In addition, Roberth Kahn from NBC New York praises the play as a solid entry into the canon of “multiverse” plays. Finally, Matt Windman from AM New York was more on the fence, but he entered the play skeptically unsure of why Gyllenhaal had such a thing for British playwright Nick Payne.

Will The Numbers Match the Buzz?

In the reported box office figures thus far, Constellations is off to a moderate start. Still, it should be noted that these weeks of figures do not yet take into account the effect of the post-opening reviews, as the last reported week ended on January 11, 2015, two days before Constellations’ opening night. In the week, the show brought in $336,203 over 7 performances, which represents 56.66% of the gross potential. In the week prior ending in January 4, 2015, the show brought in $478,445, representing 70.39% of the gross potential, which was the highest percentage yet. It is to be expected that these unanimously positive reviews will have some impact, even if moderate, on ticketbuyers. It has been noted before that positive reviews British plays tend to have a greater impact than their American counterparts even when comparably reviewed, perhaps as theatregoers are awaiting the American press’ response before deeming the ticket worth buying, or perhaps just because they hadn’t even heard of the play before it hits the papers.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 1/11/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

An Entirely Declining Week

In the week ending January 11, 2015, every single show saw a decrease in sales. The easiest way to account for this is the winter season. As the New Years and Christmas holidays are officially over, tourists have returned to their hometowns and New Yorkers are staying cozy inside whenever possible. As a result, every single one of the 29 shows currently running saw a decrease in sales from the week before. The greatest decrease was seen by Wicked, which grossed $1,147,418 from the week before, resulting in a weekly gross of $1,593,224. Although this is still an impressive 94.77% of the show’s gross potential, it is an incredible decline. The Phantom of the Opera also saw a large decrease of $834,864, resulting in a weekly gross of $814,242. Six figure decreases were in fact seen by almost all of the shows, with the lowest decrease seen by Disgraced, which only went down by $3,898.

Struggling Shows

In the winter season, quite a few shows are showing signs of having difficulty staying afloat. The lowest percentage of gross potential was reached by On the Town, the musical revival occupying the gigantic Lyric Theatre. With a potential weekly gross of $1,790,076, On the Town only earned $626,999, which was decrease of $341,360 from the week before. The represents only 35.03% of its gross potential. Following shortly thereafter is Honeymoon in Vegas, which only reached 35.44% of its gross potential with a weekly gross of $399,588. You Can’t Take It With You only brought in $392,715, which represents 39.83% of its gross potential. In addition, the Idina Menzel musical If / Then brought in $557,954, which represents only 43.25% of its gross potential. On the other hand, some shows still reached over 100% of their gross potential, including The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, The Elephant Man, and The Lion King.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending January 11, 2015:Broadway Show Ticket Analysis week ending 1-11-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A DELICATE BALANCE $582,284 4,706 73.35% $123.73
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $689,857 6,461 89.04% $106.77
ALADDIN $1,388,395 13,784 100.00% $100.73
BEAUTIFUL $1,072,591 7,101 86.51% $151.05
CABARET $805,093 6,223 99.55% $129.37
CHICAGO $480,811 6,269 72.56% $76.70
CONSTELLATIONS $336,203 4,474 98.33% $75.15
DISGRACED $382,854 5,146 70.07% $74.40
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $626,117 6,322 89.69% $99.04
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS $399,588 7,269 78.53% $54.97
IF/THEN $557,954 8,288 79.02% $67.32
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $690,904 7,767 90.82% $88.95
JERSEY BOYS $784,031 8,653 88.08% $90.61
KINKY BOOTS $1,006,029 9,557 83.89% $105.27
LES MISÉRABLES $759,690 9,657 85.67% $78.67
MAMMA MIA! $551,132 7,478 80.17% $73.70
MATILDA $879,385 10,640 92.88% $82.65
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $1,086,042 10,376 86.07% $104.67
ON THE TOWN $626,999 8,703 58.05% $72.04
ROCK OF AGES $444,828 4,528 97.08% $98.24
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,609,728 8,751 102.61% $183.95
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME $860,928 7,940 97.50% $108.43
THE ELEPHANT MAN $994,390 6,265 101.18% $158.72
THE LAST SHIP $840,468 8,230 76.26% $102.12
THE LION KING $1,840,464 13,337 98.07% $138.00
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $814,242 10,531 82.02% $77.32
THE RIVER $668,724 5,387 96.75% $124.14
WICKED $1,593,224 13,591 93.91% $117.23
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $392,715 5,262 61.30% $74.63
Totals $23,765,668 232,696 86.52% $101.33

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com

January 2015 Broadway Show Closings

Wintertime Brings Many Shows to a Close

As the January cold settles in, and it becomes clear that it won’t be sunny anytime soon, many Broadway shows have decided to shutter their doors. This is a common time to close shows that want to get a final push from the holiday season, but know they will not optimize their financial future to remain open through the rest of the winter. Some of these are long-running shows that are closing at a profit; some are new shows that never made it work for them financially. In any case, the decision to close in January is not related to the quality of the shows themselves, some of which never manage to find their audiences despite an amazing production and efforts by all involved.

“Motown” to Close and then Re-Open

Vinyl record poster Motown the Musical Broadway Show One unusual choice was made by the producers of Motown – the Musical. While the show will close on January 18, 2015, this will only be temporary. The musical will return to Broadway 18 months later: in July 2016. In the meantime, the show will tour around the United States and United Kingdom. The U.S. tour is already underway, with the company just having wrapped up in Chicago. The U.K. tour will begin in summer 2015. The show had a medium to high capitalization of $18 million, which the producers claim will be recouped by the time the Broadway run closes this week. These numbers will of course be aided by the multiple tours. Despite the high benchmark, the musical sold very well since it began previews on March 11, 2013, with its opening night on April 14, 2013 solidifying it as a crowd favorite. The brand name of the musical genre, along with the unique qualities of the musical style and demographic, have allowed the show to do very well. For many weeks it had remained in the millionaire’s club, and even this summer with a decline in sales it still hovered around the $1 million mark. In the week ending January 11, 2015, the show brought in $1,086,042.

Straight Plays that Never Made the Numbers Work

Two plays are closing this January: This is Our Youth and The Real Thing. Neither play succeeded in recouping this is our youththe-real-thing-pink-and-blackits capitalization. The is Our Youth is written by Kenneth Lonergan, and stars young Hollywood sensations Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, and Tavi Gevinson. The show is also directed by hot helmer Anna D. Shapiro. However, audiences were not quite a match for this play, which deals with themes of reckless youth and drug use, and the show never made back its money. It closed on January 4, 2015. In addition, The Real Thing is a Tom Stoppard revival that failed to meet expectations. With a starry cast including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor, Cynthia Nixon, and Josh Hamilton, the play was directed by young hot director Sam Gold. The play closed as planned on January 4, 2015, but it never did as well as the pedigree of its creative team could have implied.

Last Chance Musicals: “Pippin”, “Rock of Ages”, “Cinderella”, “Side Show”, “Once”

rock of ages small photo 100x70Rock of Ages closes on January 18, 2015, marking the conclusion of a successful run that began on March 17, 2009. The jukebox musical featuring 80s hits and a rock n roll love story was turned into a high-budget feature film, and continued to attract audiences for blue red yellow Pippin Broadway Musical posterover 5 years. Still, the producers must have decided the show was no longer making financial sense. Once is another musical that had an undeniably successful run but has now closed on January 4, 2015. After winning eight 2012 Tony Awards including the coveted honor of Best

side showMusical, Once continued to play for several years. The U.S. tour is scheduled to run until August 2015. Diane Paulus’ rendition of Pippin also closed on January 4, 2015 after a successful run since March 23, 2013, including the Tony win of Best Revival of a Musical. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella also closed that week on January 3, 2015, after running since January 25, 2013. That show also entertained a huge number of Cinderella Broadway Musical Rogers Hammerstein logo audiences, but was not as successful as producers probably had wished. Finally, Side Show closed to the disappointment of its team on January 4, 2015, after runningonce small image for only 56 regular performances and 21 previews. This musical failed to gain traction this fall season and was forced to leave by the theatre landlords.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 1/04/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

 

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending January 4, 2015:

Broadway Show Ticket Analysis week 1/4/15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A DELICATE BALANCE $648,646 5,456 85.04% $118.89
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $1,011,822 7,379 101.03% $137.12
ALADDIN $1,842,291 13,787 100.02% $133.63
BEAUTIFUL $1,264,728 7,995 97.40% $158.19
CABARET $1,051,850 7,176 100.45% $146.58
CHICAGO $950,544 8,407 97.30% $113.07
CINDERELLA $1,873,246 15,710 99.69% $119.24
CONSTELLATIONS $478,445 5,040 96.92% $94.93
DISGRACED $386,752 5,737 78.12% $67.41
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $777,340 6,717 95.29% $115.73
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS $409,674 7,657 82.72% $53.50
IF/THEN $898,321 9,396 89.59% $95.61
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $1,455,818 8,480 99.16% $171.68
JERSEY BOYS $1,091,460 9,265 94.31% $117.80
KINKY BOOTS $1,572,870 12,921 100.82% $121.73
LES MISÉRABLES $1,425,137 12,671 99.92% $112.47
MAMMA MIA! $1,002,625 9,102 97.58% $110.15
MATILDA $1,502,817 11,543 100.76% $130.19
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $1,215,495 10,613 88.03% $114.53
ON THE TOWN $968,359 11,207 74.75% $86.41
ONCE $967,968 8,608 101.61% $112.45
PIPPIN $907,253 7,897 99.71% $114.89
ROCK OF AGES $583,527 4,550 97.56% $128.25
SIDE SHOW $810,486 10,327 99.07% $78.48
THE BOOK OF MORMON $2,224,280 9,846 102.63% $225.91
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME $1,089,779 8,125 99.77% $134.13
THE ELEPHANT MAN $1,069,102 6,364 102.78% $167.99
THE ILLUSIONISTS – WITNESS THE IMPOSSIBLE $2,217,405 18,683 97.49% $118.69
THE LAST SHIP $953,165 8,985 83.26% $106.08
THE LION KING $2,514,994 13,605 100.04% $184.86
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,649,106 13,704 94.87% $120.34
THE REAL THING $462,361 5,181 100.02% $89.24
THE RIVER $756,740 5,679 101.99% $133.25
THE TEMPTATIONS AND THE FOUR TOPS ON BROADWAY $819,461 8,780 74.70% $93.33
THIS IS OUR YOUTH $569,187 8,236 86.25% $69.11
WICKED $2,740,642 15,403 99.86% $177.93
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $610,186 6,681 77.83% $91.33
Totals: $42,773,882 346,913 94.55% $120.68

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com