Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/09/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

A Slight Downturn in Ticket Sales This Week

In the week ending August 9, 2015, the entire Broadway industry stayed fairly consistent from the week before, with only a slight downturn in ticket sales. Of the 26 shows that were running last week, 12 saw an increase in sales however slight, and 14 saw a decrease in sales. The overall industry saw a collective decrease of $456,403, which is very slight in context of all the shows running. With an overall gross of $26,873,035, this accounts for an average of $1,033,578 across all the shows. This is a decrease of 1.73% from the week before, which brought in a collective gross of $26,416,632, accounting for an average of $1,016,024 for each show. The highest increase was seen by Aladdin, which went up by $223,756 to reach the weekly gross of $2,078,163. This was matched by the biggest decrease in The Lion King, which went down by $290,751 from the week before to bring in the still substantial weekly gross of $2,333,537. Likewise, Hamilton went down by $235,653, bringing this buzzy newly opened show to a weekly gross of $1,255,163, which represents 94.02% of its gross potential. A big reason why Hamilton saw this decrease is because that week included its opening night performance, in which almost the entire theatre was given away for free for guests of the production. Meanwhile, The Book of Mormon went up by $130,840 to reach a weekly gross of $1,605,195, representing 103.65% of its gross potential, and Penn & Teller on Broadway went up by $117,428 to reach a weekly gross of $1,422,088, which is 82.52% of its gross potential.

“It Shoulda Been You” Showed Slight Upturn in Final Week

On August 9, 2015, It Shoulda Been You played its final performance on Broadway. This fun-loving wedding musical comedy with a modern-day twist was directed by David Hyde Pierce, and starred Tyne Daly, Sierra Boggess, Harriet Harris, and Lisa Howard. In its final week of performances, the show brought in $494,033, which is an increase of $61,823 from the week before. Though this was the highest gross the show brought in throughout its Broadway run, it still only represented 49.85% of its gross potential across the eight performances. This is a 7.4% increase from the weekly gross in the previous week. With a top ticket price of $197.00, the average paid ticket was $71.85. Still, with this amount of discounting and the buzz surrounding the news that this was the final week of performances, the show filled up its audience capacity to an average of 84.9%, which is an increase from last week’s average audience capacity of 77.5%. Therefore, It Shoulda Been You may have never made it into hit status on Broadway, but it welcomed a slight increase in sales in its final week of performances.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending August 9, 2015:Broadway show ticket analysis w/e 8-9-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn  %Capacity  AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $524,248 6,442 88.78% $72.56
ALADDIN $2,078,163 15,543 100.00% $155.43
AMAZING GRACE $272,287 5,051 54.34% $92.96
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $1,356,715 12,398 92.30% $134.32
BEAUTIFUL $956,186 7,774 94.71% $82.08
CHICAGO $602,761 7,567 87.58% $86.40
FINDING NEVERLAND $1,058,371 11,149 92.66% $120.32
FUN HOME $775,680 6,097 102.99% $59.20
HAMILTON $1,255,163 10,638 100.66% $105.68
HAND TO GOD $288,012 4,328 70.08% $61.76
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $396,374 5,118 72.61% $70.49
IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU $494,033 6,876 84.93% $80.96
JERSEY BOYS $615,641 6,629 67.48% $98.24
KINKY BOOTS $905,672 9,376 82.30% $113.92
LES MISÉRABLES $811,144 9,959 88.35% $112.72
MAMMA MIA! $967,336 9,436 100.81% $93.60
MATILDA $1,109,694 11,444 99.90% $114.56
ON THE TOWN $460,190 8,683 57.92% $149.92
PENN & TELLER ON BROADWAY $1,422,088 12,145 92.91% $130.72
SOMETHING ROTTEN! $1,055,303 11,520 86.38% $133.36
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,605,195 9,837 102.53% $95.94
THE KING AND I $1,121,660 8,322 99.36% $83.76
THE LION KING $2,333,537 13,569 100.01% $135.68
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,068,693 11,766 91.64% $128.40
WICKED $1,980,056 15,071 97.81% $154.08
Totals $26,416,631 244,693 88.72% $101.80

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

“It Shoulda Been You” Closes on Broadway

Final Performance Sunday, August 9th at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre

it shoulda been youOn March 17, 2015, It Shoulda Been You began previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The official opening night took place on April 14, 2015, in time for consideration for the 2015 Tony Awards. However, the show received no Tony Awards nominations. Although they did receive the chance to perform a number from the musical at the awards ceremony, word of mouth never picked up to an adequate degree following this exposure, and ticket sales remained mediocre throughout the run. Therefore, at the end of June, it was announced that the final performance for this wedding musical with a twist would be Sunday, August 9, 2015. The show is conceived by Barbara Anselmi, with a book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove, and a musical score by Barbara Anselmi. Furthermore, the show was directed by David Hyde Pierce, who happens to be the husband of Brian Hargrove. Though he did not appear onstage, David Hyde Pierce was by far the biggest name involved with the production, as he is renowned for his acting roles in such television shows as Frasier, such films as Wet Hot American Summer and The Fisher King, and such Broadway productions as Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Curtains, and La Bête. Nevertheless, having this name behind the scenes did not boost ticket sales for the show as much as if he had been onstage.

Mixed Reviews for a Fun-Loving Wedding Comedyit shoulda been you

When It Shoulda Been You opened on April 14, 2015, it received mixed reviews. Ben Brantley of The New York Times commenced his review with the single word, “Oy.” This musical comedy set at a Jewish wedding did not win over this prestigious critic, who concluded his review by stating that the latter day twist (of the gay element) did not make this cocktail of clichés any less flat. The New York Post likewise stated that the show “lacks laughs” in the headline, finding the songs disposable and the plot twist improbable. The New York Daily News gave the show two stars out of five, calling it a harmless diversion that “shoulda” been better. Marilyn Stasio in Variety found it awfully funny, but admitted that nothing was particularly clever about the show. Vulture found the show not quite dead of laughs, but rather on life support. Entertainment Weekly gave it a B-, admitting that the grande dames of this show – Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris – deserve some applause. In any case, the overwhelming sentiment of these reviews is one of disappointment, and that did not allow this show to stick around for long enough to make its money back.

Mediocre Box Office Throughout the Run

In the final week of ticket sales, the week ending August 9, 2015, It Shoulda Been You made its highest weekly gross of the run. With a gross of $494,033, the show brought in 49.85% of its gross potential, and filled up an average of 84.9% of the audience. With a top ticket price of $197.00, the average paid admission was $71.85. However, at the low point of the run, the show only brought in $272,693, which represents 27.51% of its gross potential. All in all, the show never appeared to have the makings of a box office hit. However, the show’s capitalization was fairly low compared to most shows, and though the Broadway run will not make profits, the future market for licensing this show is optimistic. With a low cost to run and a fun-loving family sentiment, It Shoulda Been You may be a top pick for regional and amateur theatre licensing, allowing the investors to make back a bit more of their money.

“Hamilton” Opens at the Richard Rodgers Theatre

A Round Of Rave Reviews for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Masterpiece

hamiltonOn August 6, 2015, Hamilton played its opening night performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. It had been running in previews on Broadway since its first performance on July 13, 2015. Prior to this, Hamilton had an extremely successful run at Off-Broadway at the Public Theater from January 20, 2015 to May 3, 2015. After receiving universal acclaim in the smaller venue, buzz abounded and headlines soared about this new musical with book, lyrics, and music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which also stars him in the title role. Along with producers Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, and Jill Furman, the Public Theater brought the show to Broadway. Like the Public run, this production is directed by Thomas Kail (Magic/Bird, Lombardi, In the Heights), and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler. The show is praised for its reimagining of the period in history in which our founding fathers began this country. Rather than focusing on the traditional hero George Washington, who also appears in the show, the heart of this tale is on Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury. Furthermore, instead of cast with traditional white males, this show features black and Latino performers singing musical styles ranging from rap to hip hop to R&B, as well as traditional musical theatre.

Strong Praise for the Production and the PerformersHAMILTON

Ben Brantley of The New York Times began his rave review with a single line: “Yes, it really is that good.” Admitting that he was among the critics to give the show universal praise in its previous incarnation, he said he had begun to wonder if the hype was really a match for the quality of the production. However, after seeing the enhanced version in the Broadway theatre, Brantley continued his praise and gave the show his blessing. At one point he even suggested that people should mortgage their houses in order to afford a ticket to this show, if only to reassure themselves that the American musical is still alive and well. The other major critics were no less appreciative. David Cote from Time Out New York called this show the greatest American musical in decades, proclaiming his love for this show in both simple and extravagant terms. Jeremy Gerard in Deadline called the show electrifying, stating that it is destined for the record books, and comparing it to both Rent and A Chorus Line from previous eras. Jesse Green from Vulture remarked on the incredible number of songs in the show – 34 – and concluded that the ambition and the scope of this show are a major breakthrough in the art form. Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News said that Hamilton made Broadway officially the coolest place on the planet.

Bull’s Eye Box Office, and Somehow Increasing

In the last reported week of box office figures, the week ending August 2, 2015, Hamilton brought in $1,490,816. This represents 111.67% of the show’s gross potential across the eight performances. This was the third full week of the run, although the first two weeks had just seven performances each. Still, with each progressive week, Hamilton has managed to increase its overall box office gross as well as the percentage reached of its gross potential. Granted, this past week the percentage of gross potential increased from 111.51% to 111.67%, which is a small increase, and yet it continues to show that people will pay top dollar and see this show however they can. Presently, the top ticket price is $275.00, but perhaps as the show continues to be a hot ticket, the producers may choose to practice dynamic pricing and also to raise the cost of premium tickets. This will enable to show to break even more quickly, entering profits so that the investors can make back more of their money sooner. For the ticketbuyer, this means that Hamilton will continue to be a very tough show to see. In order to see it, one must be resourceful – both in terms of finding a way to get a ticket, and in terms of affording one.

Jon Stewart Hosts Final Episode of “The Daily Show”

Last Week Countdown to Finale Episode on Thursday, August 6th

jon stewart the daily showOn January 11, 1999, Jon Stewart became the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. At the time, he took over the position from Craig Kilborn, who had been the show’s inaugural host since it first aired on July 22, 1996. Jon Stewart’s tenure has far outlasted his predecessor’s, as he wraps up his 16-year stint as host this week. The show will continue on in his legacy, as Trevor Noah has been tapped to begin hosting the new era on September 28, 2015. The final episode ever of Jon Stewart hosting The Daily Show took place last night on Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 11:00pm. The show ran 52 minutes, which is 22 minutes longer than the usual half-hour format. Furthermore, Comedy Central played a Daily Show marathon all day on August 6th leading up to the final episode. The week leading up to the final show featured some of Stewart’s most favored comedians as guests, including Amy Schumer, Denis Leary, and Louis C.K. In the remarkable number of seasons that Stewart has held this position, he has interviewed guests ranging from Barack Obama to Philip Seymour Hoffman to Kurt Vonnegut to George Clooney. As for the final episode, the guests were not revealed ahead of time, but were instead a surprise for viewers tuning in.

A Slam Dunk Final Show Paying Tribute to Top Talentsjon stewart the daily show

The finale was indeed a huge surprise, with a slew of heavy hitting talents from comedy to politics stopping in to pay tribute to Jon Stewart. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band bid adieu with a musical performance, singing two songs: “Land of Hope and Dreams” and “Born to Run.” Many individuals who were formerly correspondents on The Daily Show made appearances, including Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Larry Wilmore, Rob Corddry, and Rob Riggle. Other comedians came through as well, such as Kristen Schaal, John Hodgman, Lewis Black, Mo Rocca, and Samantha Bee. In particular, Larry Wilmore made the joke that he stopped by because he had nothing else to do; his show, The Nightly Show, was moved to make way for Jon Stewart’s extended finale. A video was also made with the collaboration of many politicians including Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer, Chris Christie, and John McCain, some of them more gracious than others (McCain called Stewart a “jackass,” all in good fun of course). Darth Vadar even popped in, proclaiming that he was compared to Dick Cheney in an unfair moment.

An Outpouring of Gratitude for Stewart’s Impact on Comedy

On Monday evening, kicking off the final week, Amy Schumer was the guest of honor. This 34 year-old comedian has recently shot to fame with her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer and more recently her feature film Trainwreck presently in theaters. In fact, Schumer reportedly turned down the opportunity to succeed Stewart in the hosting position of The Daily Show. Their interview began on a somber note, discussing a shooting that took place at a recent screening of Trainwreck. However, the conversation then became lighter, as Schumer discussed the havoc she and her friends (including Jennifer Lawrence) wreaked in a recent weekend in the Hamptons. On Wednesday evening, the penultimate episode and the last before the special finale, Louis C.K. was the guest of honor. He told Stewart that he was thrilled to be his “last dude,” and thanked him on behalf of comedy. Louis C.K. disclosed that watching Stewart perform standup long ago at the Comedy Cellar in New York was one of the reasons he decided to go into the comedy profession. Just last week, Stewart returned to that same venue to try his hand again at standup for the first time in many years. In a show of mutual love and respect, he told Louis that he was likewise inspired by him in deciding to return to the standup mic. Overall, it is clear the Jon Stewart will be sorely missed by the comedy community and far beyond. The next phase of his career is as yet unknown, but it will surely be interesting to watch.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/02/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

A Steady Week With A Slight Upturn

In the week ending August 2, 2015, Broadway is still going strong with summer ticket sales. Overall, the entire industry of 28 currently running shows saw a relatively minor increase of $736,227 from the week before. The biggest increase was seen by mega-hit The Lion King, which brought in $215,787 from the week before, bringing it to a total weekly gross of $2,624,288. Remarkably, this huge number represents just 98.47% of the production’s gross potential in the massive Minskoff Theatre, whereas this and other shows have at times broken the 100% mark, or even the 110% mark of gross potential. With a top ticket price of $225.00, the average paid admission was the impressive $173.37. The only other show that came close in terms of average ticket price is The Book of Mormon, which brought in $1,474,355 last week, representing 107.10% of its gross potential in the comparably smaller Eugene O’Neill Theatre. With a top ticket price of the extremely inflated $475.00 per premium ticket, the average paid admission trailed just behind that of The Lion King at $168.48. The highest percentage of gross potential was reached by new hit musical Hamilton, which hasn’t even opened yet but is bringing in 111.67% of its gross potential. Overall, of the 28 shows running, 16 showed an increase from the week before, and 8 saw a decrease. The greatest decrease was seen by Kinky Boots at the relatively minor dip of $60,641.

“Hamilton” Well On Its Way to Top Musical of the Season

Hamilton the Musical opens in 2 days, but it brought in the highest gross potential of any show this past week while still in previews. This is the first week that they played eight performances, as opposed to two weeks of seven performances each. In this way, the show reached not only its maximum weekly gross so far at $1,490,816, but also the highest percentage of its gross potential, out of any week yet. Their audience capacity was filled up to an average of 100.5% across the eight performances, and the top ticket price has thus far held steady at $275.00. It remains to be seen whether the producers will choose to adopt a dynamic pricing strategy, whereby they raise the premium ticket prices and fluctuate the ticket pricing based on predicted demand, sometimes even across individual performances. The reviews will come out this week, but the show has already earned raves and great buzz from its recent Off-Broadway run at the Public Theatre, which was also the birthplace of the 2015 Tony Award winning best musical, Fun Home. At this point, it seems clear that Hamilton will be well remembered one year from now in time for the 2016 Tony Awards consideration. With a year’s appetite filled for this culturally imaginative, alternative political bio-drama, the show will surely be a contender for the Best Musical award, as well as many others. Still, an entire year remains for other shows to come out of the woodwork in contention for that great honor.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending August 2, 2015:Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis-08-02-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $549,228 6,711 92.49% $81.84
ALADDIN $1,854,407 13,817 100.01% $134.21
AMAZING GRACE $308,313 4,947 53.22% $62.32
AN ACT OF GOD $1,074,778 7,883 97.95% $136.34
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $1,388,952 12,518 93.20% $110.96
BEAUTIFUL $946,124 7,653 93.24% $123.63
CHICAGO $748,452 8,241 95.38% $90.82
FINDING NEVERLAND $1,200,295 11,851 98.50% $101.28
FISH IN THE DARK $841,809 8,354 97.32% $100.77
FUN HOME $782,634 5,976 100.95% $130.96
HAMILTON $1,490,816 10,619 100.48% $140.39
HAND TO GOD $285,603 4,186 67.78% $68.23
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $390,829 5,286 74.99% $73.94
IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU $432,210 6,278 77.54% $68.85
JERSEY BOYS $651,437 7,053 71.79% $92.36
KINKY BOOTS $890,611 9,205 80.80% $96.75
LES MISÉRABLES $766,999 9,856 87.44% $77.82
MAMMA MIA! $939,807 9,415 100.93% $99.82
MATILDA $1,108,854 11,480 100.21% $96.59
ON THE TOWN $475,889 7,664 51.12% $62.09
PENN & TELLER ON BROADWAY $1,304,660 11,426 87.41% $114.18
SOMETHING ROTTEN! $1,073,132 11,791 88.41% $91.01
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,474,355 8,751 102.61% $168.48
THE KING AND I $1,134,145 8,264 98.66% $137.24
THE LION KING $2,624,288 15,137 99.17% $173.37
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,090,526 11,852 92.31% $92.01
WICKED $2,118,401 16,175 93.95% $130.97
Total $28,789,618 259,904 88.93% $106.05

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

Casting Announced for “She Loves Me” on Broadway

Roundabout Theatre Company Revives This Musical in Spring 2016

she loves meShe Loves Me first premiered on Broadway in 1963, when it was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical and took home the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. It was since revived on Broadway twice, if you include a one-night benefit performance on December 5, 2011. Its first major revival took place in June 1993, when it ran for one year, first at the Criterion Center Stage Right, and then at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. This upcoming spring season, She Loves Me will shine on Broadway once more. The source material for this musical is a Hungarian play called Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo, which has also served as the source material for the 1940 film The Shop around the Corner, the 1949 musical In the Good Old Summertime, and more recently, the 1998 film You’ve Got Mail starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Nevertheless, the musical She Loves Me remains one of the lasting successes of this story, and the Roundabout Theatre Company is producing it at Studio 54 with previews beginning February 5, 2016, and an opening night scheduled for March 3, 2016. It is then scheduled to run until May 22, 2016, when Studio 54 will be vacated for the arrival of a new production.

Laura Benanti and Josh Radnor Are Joined By Stellar Supporting Castjosh radnor laura benanti

This past week, the full cast for the musical revival was announced. It had previously been disclosed that the lead part of Amalia Balash would be played by Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, In the Next Room, Gypsy), and that the role opposite her, Georg Nowack, would be played by Josh Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother,” Disgraced, The Graduate). Now, it has been revealed that Jane Krakowski will join the duo in the role of Ilona Ritter; Jane is best known for her role on “30 Rock” and has also been seen on Broadway in Nine, Once Upon a Mattress, and Tartuffe among other roles. Furthermore, the role of Steven Kodaly will be played by Gavin Creel, who is presently playing Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon, and who has been nominated for two Tony Awards for his roles in Hair and Thoroughly Modern Millie. If that wasn’t enough, the cast has also been revealed to include Rene Auberjonois (Sly Fox, Dance of the Vampires) as Mr. Maraczek, Nicholas Barasch (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, West Side Story) as Arpad Laszlo, Michael McGrath (Tony Award winner for Nice Work if You Can Get It, On the Twentieth Century) as Sipos, and Peter Bartlett (Something Rotten!, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella) as the Headwaiter.

Creative Team Will Make This An Unmissable Production

She Loves Me has a book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. The show will be directed by Scott Ellis, the Roundabout Theatre Company associate artistic director who has helmed many shows in recent seasons, including On the Twentieth Century, The Elephant Man, You Can’t Take It With You, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Furthermore, the choreographer is the highly acclaimed Warren Carlyle, whose recent credits include On the Twentieth Century, After Midnight, A Christmas Story The Musical, and Follies, and he also directed and choreographed Chaplin and Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway. With scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Jeff Mahshie, lighting design by Don Holder, and sound design by Jon Weston, this production will surely be impeccable from a production standpoint. Now what rests to be told is whether audiences take to this classic romantic musical from 1963, or whether it gets buried in the otherwise exciting spring season.

“Tuck Everlasting” Finds Broadway Theatre for Spring Season

Musical Will Begins Previews March 23, 2016 After Long Delay

tuck everlastingThis musical based off of Natalie Babbitt’s well known young adult novel has been gestating for a long time. The first announcement of a pre-Broadway run specified that the show would have trial production in Boston in the summer of 2013. However, allegedly due to the scarcity of an available theatre to transfer the show to after the Boston run, that production was postponed. It is also possible that the show was not ready creatively at that point. In any case, the world premiere of Tuck Everlasting finally took place at the Alliance Theatre in Georgia in early 2015. The show is directed by Casey Nicholaw, who is also the director behind such hits as The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, and Something Rotten! Finally, it has now been announced that the Broadway production will indeed take place this upcoming spring 2016 season. With previews beginning on March 23, 2016, the musical is scheduled to open on April 17, 2016, just in time for Tony Awards consideration for next year.

The Broadhurst Theatre Will Be The Musical’s New Hometuck everlasting

Presently, Mamma Mia! is playing at the Broadhurst Theatre, and it is scheduled to wrap up its performaces on September 12, 2015. Previously, Mamma Mia! ran at the Winter Garden Theatre for many years since 2001, but it stepped aside in November 2013 to allow for the highly anticipated musical production of Rocky, which had a surprisingly short run due to low ticket sales. Following the conclusion of Mamma Mia!, the Broadhurst will house a limited engagement of the play Misery by William Goldman, directed by Will Frears, and starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf. When that production concludes on February 14, 2016, the theatre will be available for Tuck Everlasting to step in. The Broadhurst is owned by the Shubert Organization, which is the landlord for many of the theatres on Broadway. In order to secure this theatre, the producers of Tuck Everlasting had to make an agreement with the Shuberts to occupy one of their houses, and it was just decided that the Broadhurst would be it.

A Warm Reception for the Atlanta Pre-Broadway Run

When Tuck Everlasting opened in Atlanta in February 2015, Charles Isherwood of the New York Times flew down to witness it and report back to New York. Isherwood was moved by the piece, remarking that it was refreshing to see a musical based off of dancers in dream sequences, which used to be a staple of theatre but is lesser seen in recent years. Isherwood also remarked that it is surprising to see this direction from Casey Nicholaw, as it demonstrates a softer touch than is seen in some of his shows such as The Book of Mormon and Aladdin. He found the show to be already polished, which is a compliment for a trial run where many other Broadway shows are still working out their kinks. Even though the show is kid-friendly and emotionally compelling, Isherwood did remark that perhaps the show may find it difficult to compete in the commercially cutthroat atmosphere of Broadway, as it does not rely on the element of spectacle.

“An Act of God” Wraps Up Its Run

Jim Parsons Plays Final Performance on August 2, 2015

an act of godOn May 7, 2015, An Act of God began previews at Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54 theatre, although the show is not a Roundabout production. An Act of God is written by David Javerbaum, directed by Joe Mantello, and stars Jim Parsons in the role of God. The producers include Jeffrey Finn and the Shubert Organization. The official opening night then took place on May 28, 2015. The show opened just too late to be considered for Tony Awards nominations this past year, although it will be eligible for the following year’s awards. However, the Tony committee generally has a fairly short term memory, with even shows that ran in the fall season given less notice than those from the spring season. Therefore, with this show opening and closing all within the summer of 2015, it may be difficult for the Tony committee to remember it as a competitive show for the nominations in June of 2016. In any case, An Act of God was a hit, at least from a financial perspective. On July 15, 2015, it was announced that the show had recouped its initial capitalization of $2.9 million, and is now running in profits. In addition, the show received fairly positive reviews after its opening on May 28th. Therefore, from almost all perspectives, the show is a critical and commercial hit.

Excellent Box Office from Day Oneact-of-god-broadway-jim-parsons

In the first partial week of performances for An Act of God, the show brought in 93.01% of its gross potential. Those numbers dipped slightly throughout the following weeks of preview performances, but in the weeks following the show’s opening, the numbers were back up in the range of 85 to 90% of the show’s gross potential. In the last reported week of box office figures, the week ending July 26, 2015, the show finally broke through the 100% mark of its gross potential, and in addition it brought in over $1 million at the box office for the first time. That week, the weekly gross was $1,011,538, which represents 100.37% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $349.00, the average paid admission was $130.47, also the highest average ticket sale in any week yet. In addition, the average audience capacity reached a peak of 96.3% average across the eight performances. With just one week left of box office figures to report, chances are these numbers will continue to creep upwards as ticket buyers realize this is their last chance to see Jim Parsons live on Broadway in the estimable role of God.

Jim Parsons: A Big Box Office Name on Broadway

If An Act of God demonstrated anything about the type of show that sells well on Broadway, it can be gleaned that Jim Parsons is a big box office name. The other factors involved in the production leave nothing particularly remarkable to conclude, such as the small cast led principally by one actor (often a difficult sell on Broadway), the playwright being a well regarded name within TV circles but one whose name doesn’t mean much to most Broadway ticket buyers, and a show that opened after it would be eligible for Tony Awards consideration. Jim Parsons also had a great chance to shine in his last lead performance at Studio 54, that time in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Harvey. His only other performance on Broadway to date was a supporting role in The Normal Heart, where the lead role was played by Joe Mantello, who is also the director of An Act of God. When Parsons played that same role in the HBO film version of The Normal Heart, he was nominated for an Emmy Award. All in all, Parsons has won the hearts of America, and we are sure to see him again on Broadway as soon as he has a break in his busy television and film schedule.

“Fish in the Dark” Concludes Its Run on Broadway

A Mega Box Office Hit That Took Broadway by Storm

fish-in-the-dark-logo-no-tix_300On August 1, 2015, Fish in the Dark will play its final performance on Broadway. The show began previews on February 2, 2015 at the Cort Theatre, and officially opened on March 5, 2015. Written by and originally starring Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm, creator of Seinfeld), the show was a major box office draw from the first day. Before the show even began its first preview, it had brought in over $11 million at the box office. This was by far the highest advance of any show this spring season on Broadway. By the opening on March 5th, the advance was reported to be $13 million. On May 20, 2015, it was announced that the show had recouped its initial investment which was never revealed to the press, but was expected to be somewhere between $3 million and $4 million. The reason it took so long for the show to recoup despite such an extraordinary advance is due to the high cost of running the show, which in no small part is due to the high salary given to Larry David himself. When Jason Alexander took over for Larry David on June 9, 2015, the box office receipts dropped $400,000 for the week, and stayed fairly constant until the end of the run. However, Jason Alexander also earned a significantly lower salary, allowing the show to stay afloat despite this drop in ticket sales.

Mediocre Reviews and Poor Awards Recognitionjason alexander larry david

Despite this astounding box office success, the show received mediocre reviews upon its opening. The New York Times found the show to be an excuse to glorify the fame of Larry David, but that the comedy was not his best. Other critics were as impressed as ticket buyers, including David Cote from Time Out New York, David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter, and Matt Windman from AM New York. However, the overall critical response did nothing to dissuade ticket buyers, many of whom had already made their ticket purchases before the reviews came out. Furthermore, Fish in the Dark received no Tony Award nominations, further confirming that the show was not the best Broadway has seen by any stretch of the imagination. However, the producers of the Tony Awards ceremony did give a nod to Larry David’s impact of the Broadway industry this season, as he was given the chance to present the final award of the evening, that for Best Musical to Fun Home.

Jason Alexander Didn’t Hold a Candle to Larry David

When Alexander took over for David on June 9, 2015, the weekly box office gross dropped by $403,563. Whereas David’s final week brought in a weekly gross of $1,246,196, representing 119.73% of the show’s gross potential, Jason Alexander’s first week had a weekly gross of $842,633, which represented 80.97% of the gross potential. With very minor fluctuations, the gross through Alexander’s run has stayed constant, that is until the last reported week of box office figures: the week ending July 26, 2015. That week, the show’s weekly gross went down by $185,258 to a figure of $716,936, which represented only 68.89% of the show’s gross potential. This is by far the lowest weekly gross to date. However, chances are the sales will pick up in the final week ending August 1, 2015.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 7/26/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

A Downturn from Last Week’s Excellent Grosses

In the week ending July 26, 2015, the overall Broadway industry took a dip of $1,183,075 from the week before. Of the 28 shows presently running, only 11 saw an increase in ticket sales, whereas 17 saw a decrease in ticket sales. Furthermore, the increases were much smaller than the decreases. The biggest increase was seen by Kinky Boots, which brought in $41,850 from the week before. In contrast, the biggest decrease was seen by Hedwig and the Angry Inch which went down by $275,979 from the week before. Furthermore, The Lion King saw a decrease of $211,515, Fish in the Dark saw a decrease of $185,258, The King and I saw a decrease of $183,813, Wicked saw a decrease of $165,183, and The Book of Mormon saw a decrease of $149,069. Still, most of these large downturns were seen by the highest grossing shows. For instance, though The Lion King decreased by $211,515, it still brought in a weekly gross of $2,408,501 and was the highest grossing show of the week. Therefore, it is not so much that this past week was a poor one on Broadway, but rather than the week prior was excellent in terms of ticket sales.

“Hamilton” Continues to Rake It In

This past week was Hamilton’s second week running on Broadway, and it is still in previews. This week, it earned $14,075 more than the week before, bringing in an excellent weekly gross of $1,302,511. That represents an astounding 111.51% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of the comparably low amount of $275.00, the average paid admission was $140.21. This demonstrates that no discounting is taking place for this hot new musical with book, music, and lyrics by, and also starring, Lin Manuel-Miranda, the creator of In the Heights. Hamilton has been very buzzy since its Off-Broadway run at the Public Theater, which is also the origin theatre of Fun Home which took home the Tony Award for Best Musical this past season. At this rate, if the reviews are as excellent as the buzz, Hamilton should be a shoe-in for the Tony Award for Best Musical next year, though that is almost an entire year away. Its success may even be enough to dissuade producers who are developing new musicals to rush their shows to Broadway, and they might be inclined to wait until the following season when there is a less obvious contender for this prestigious award. This past week, Hamilton was filled up to 100.5% of audience capacity on average in the Richard Rodgers Theatre, which is up from 100.3% from the week before. It doesn’t hurt that President Obama was widely reported to have since this show in previews. When the show opens on August 5, 2015, it may become even more difficult to snag a ticket.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending July 26, 2015:broadway show ticket analysis week ending 7-26-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $546,611 6,831 94.14% $80.02
ALADDIN $1,831,846 13,818 100.01% $132.57
AMAZING GRACE $297,904 5,243 56.40% $56.82
AN ACT OF GOD $1,011,538 7,753 96.33% $130.47
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $1,429,500 12,819 95.44% $111.51
BEAUTIFUL $986,399 7,769 94.65% $126.97
CHICAGO $674,699 8,023 92.86% $84.10
FINDING NEVERLAND $1,162,145 11,659 96.90% $99.68
FISH IN THE DARK $716,936 7,716 89.89% $92.92
FUN HOME $805,369 6,105 103.13% $131.92
HAMILTON $1,302,511 9,290 100.47% $140.21
HAND TO GOD $339,642 4,527 73.30% $75.03
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $405,108 5,576 92.29% $72.65
IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU $404,467 5,864 72.43% $68.97
JERSEY BOYS $683,286 7,158 72.86% $95.46
KINKY BOOTS $951,252 9,666 84.85% $98.41
LES MISÉRABLES $812,848 9,664 85.73% $84.11
MAMMA MIA! $932,929 9,403 100.80% $99.22
MATILDA $1,133,454 11,462 100.05% $98.89
ON THE TOWN $476,502 8,194 54.66% $58.15
PENN & TELLER ON BROADWAY $1,237,512 10,824 82.80% $114.33
SOMETHING ROTTEN! $1,067,457 11,664 87.46% $91.52
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,505,083 8,748 102.58% $172.05
THE KING AND I $969,161 7,127 85.09% $135.98
THE LION KING $2,408,501 13,570 100.01% $177.49
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,090,134 12,182 94.88% $89.49
WICKED $2,002,632 15,201 98.66% $131.74
Total $28,053,394 255,568 89.41% $105.83

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