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.

Jimmy Fallon’s “Lip Sync Battle” Becomes Spin-Off TV Show

Jimmy Fallon and the History of the Lip Sync Battle

jimmy fallonJimmy Fallon has been the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon since he took over the post from Jay Leno in February 2014. He had earned his beloved stature through his tenure hosting Late Night with Jimmy Fallon also on NBC from March 2009, when he took over from talk show legend Conan O’Brien. Prior to that, he gained acclaim from his tenure as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, which occurred from 1999 to 2004, when he left to pursue a film career. He appeared in a quite a few movies including Fever Pitch, Almost Famous, Factory Girl, and The Year of Getting to Know Us, but ultimately his home was the talk show circuit, and he was roped back in by NBC. Since seamlessly taking over from Leno almost a year ago, Fallon has proved his insurmountable stature by remaining a huge success with fans and celebrities alike. One of his most beloved shticks in The Tonight Show has been a “Lip Sync Battle,” whereby he competes against his guests, who are often huge stars such as Emma Stone and Paul Rudd, to see who is better at lip syncing. In addition to being hilarious and entertaining, this battle is said to prove the winner in terms of charisma, talent, individuality, and guts.

The Pilot Will Be Shot This Month; Premieres On TV April 2nd, 2015

While Fallon continues on as the successful host of The Tonight Show, he will also serve as a producer of a new spin-off show on Spike TV. Two other producers include John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant, who were the creators of this segment on Fallon’s show, along with Krasinski’s wife Emily Blunt. Krasinski and Merchant are also sometime performers in the lip sync battles. Memorable episodes include performances by Emma Stone and Paul Rudd, as well as a three-way battle between Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Merchant, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Now, this new pilot will be shot in January in front of a live studio audience. It is set to premiere on Spike TV on April 2, 2015. It is unclear how this mini-segment will be able to expand into an entire episode, not to mention a 10 episode series. Still, the show has a lot to work with, given the allure for celebrity guests. Thus time can inevitably be spent in celebrity banter if not interviews, although the set-up will ultimately need to differentiate itself from the usual talk show format and focus in on the lip sync battle first and foremost.

LL Cool J Announced to Serve as the Show’s Host ll cool j

The rapper-musician LL Cool J has signed on to host this new show on Spike TV, as announced this month. He will also join as a producer on the show. He has expressed great excitement about being involved with the show. This will be his second recurring gig on television, in addition to his role as a regular cast member on the hit show NCIS: Los Angeles. He announced that this show was going to bring the concept of the lip sync battle to a whole new level – as it must in order to fill in the longer timeslot. Still, hopes are high that the combination of a winning battle concept, celebrity guests, and LL Cool J as host will allow the new show to thrive on Spike TV.

Click here for Tickets to the show Lip Sync Battle Tickets

“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.

“The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” Premieres on Comedy Central

“Daily Show” Spin-Off Replaces “Colbert Report”

Larry WilmoreOn January 19, 2015, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore premiered on Comedy Central. Larry Wilmore has led a long and successful career in television comedy, and most recently received acclaim for his recurring role on The Daily Show as the “Senior Black Correspondent” since 2006. He published a political humor book called I’d Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts in 2009. Earlier in his career, he served as a producer and writer on shows including Sister, Sister, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and The Jamie Foxx Show. He co-created Eddie Murphy’s show The PJs and served as executive producer for the duration of its run. He collaborated with Whoopi Goldberg on her show Whoopi, which he created and produced. He was also a consulting producer on The Office from 2005 to 2007, and once made a cameo on that show as a “diversity consultant.” Needless to say, Larry Wilmore is a tried and true comedian, show runner, and spokesman of the black community, and The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore will solidify his position as television royalty.

Critical Praise for the Premierewilmore

Top industry press such as The New York Times, Variety, and Entertainment Weekly all praised The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times confidently declared that everyone will want to know what Larry Wilmore has to say in his next show of the nightly series. She was pleased that unlike other talk show hosts, he is not white, male, and insecure about that fact. Rather, she was relieved how he can address racial topics head-on without feeling the need to be politically correct. He even made a daring joke about the Eric Garner case and unapologetically asked the audience if it was too soon. Brian Lowry in Variety was less bowled over, but acknowledged that the show demonstrated great potential. However, he said, it would be premature to give the show an unqualified rave, because it only revealed a small part of what it will ultimately offer. Jeff Jensen in Entertainment Weekly also gave it a restrained rave, saying that he will keep watching as long as the show can remain consistent. In reference to the show he replaced, The Colbert Report, Jensen calls this much more conventional. This 30-minute add-on to The Daily Show is also produced by Jon Stewart, and fills the slot the Stephen Colbert vacated to replaced David Letterman.

A Wide Range of Subjects

In the premiere episode, Wilmore touched on a range of topics. He discussed Selma and its Oscar snubs, as well as the protestors at Ferguson. He mentioned that he would never hesitate to bring up race, and he seemed both proud and mischievous about that. He said he would address Bill Cosby’s sexual scandal the following evening. His guests included Senator Cory Booker, and his panelists featured Shenaz Treasury and Bill Burr. Jensen in Entertainment Weekly criticized these guests and panelists for being on the bland side, expressing his wish that Wilmore learn to take over the microphone more and smoothly intercept the long running talk of his less interesting guests. In any case, the show is, as its name implies, nightly, and thus there will be many more opportunities in which to determine whether Wilmore is living up to his timeslot.

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

Letterman Announces Final Show Date; Colbert Announces Debut

Letterman Will Step Down on May 20, 2015

David Letterman Studio - smallSince 1993, David Letterman has been leading his late night talk show, Late Show with David Letterman on CBS. In April 2014, it was announced that he would retire, and then in December, the date of May 20, 2015 was given as the day he would conclude his tenure. He has served as a role model for many talk show hosts who became his contemporaries and some his successors. He received a prestigious honor at the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in 2012, and he earned the George Foster Peabody Award in 1992 for his innovative contribution to the talk show genre. His comedy has been honored with accolades ranging from the first of Comedy Central’s annual “The Comedy Awards” Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence, to the twice receipt of the American Comedy Awards honor of Funniest Male Performer. His retirement has been a slow revelation to his reverent public, who will surely miss his regular presence of their television screens.

Colbert Will Take Over on September 8, 2015Steven Colbert and David Letterman take a selfie

After a summer hiatus, Late Show will continue with Stephen Colbert at the helm. His lauded and renowned The Colbert Report concluded on December 18, 2014. One of the major discussion points in the media has been over Colbert’s fake personality from The Colbert Report and whether he will be as successful in the more sober role of a straight talk show personality. The truth is, no one knows exactly what blend of comedy and character Colbert will bring to his new position, as he surely will not undermine his own comedic instincts. Rather, this will be a chance for him to flex his comedic muscle in a new way, a challenge that is in all probability quite welcome for a change of pace. He will be bringing his same support team from The Colbert Report to his new place on Late Show, and he will also clearly bring his trademark intelligence and wit. The show will still be topical and deal with current events, and he will need to introduce himself to his audience, new and old, as the real guy Stephen Colbert.

A Season of Late Night Host Handovers

Colbert taking over for Letterman is one of many handovers that has been announced this season. In early 2014, Jimmy Fallon took over for Jay Leno, and he has filled those shoes so seamlessly that many of his fans have probably forgotten his old timeslot. As for the inevitable chain reaction, Seth Meyers took over the vacant slot left by Jimmy Fallon in February 2014. Finally, Craig Ferguson gave his last episode of the Late Late Show on December 19, 2014, and it has recently been announced that his successor will be the British comedian James Corden, who is best known in the United States for his critically praised lead performance in Broadway’s One Man, Two Guv’nors. Now he will have a chance to show and refine his chops for a much wider American audience.

“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