By Joanne Von Furstenburg | Posted on March 08, 2017 8:05 PM
Many of the top box office shows haven't been as popular recently, here's why:
Box Office for Biggest Musicals Sees Biggest Drop
This past week, the week ending March 5, 2017, the entire Broadway industry saw a collective decrease of $1,593,026 from the week before. Of the 28 shows running, only 8 saw an increase in ticket sales, however negligible. The biggest decrease in ticket sales was seen by The Lion King, which brought in $330,993 less than the week before, to reach a weekly gross of $1,530,680, which represented 91.5% of its gross potential. In addition, Hamilton, which had crossed the $3 million mark for the fifth time last week, saw a decrease of $298,316 to reach a weekly gross of $2,835,099 this past week, which represented 107.7% of its gross potential. Meanwhile, other long-running musicals also saw a big dip. Aladdin saw a decrease of $275,211 to reach a weekly gross of $1,194,405, which represented 93.6% of its gross potential, School of Rock – the Musical saw a decrease of $251,294 to reach a weekly gross of $841,016, which represented just 58.2% of its gross potential, Wicked saw a decrease of $248,504 to reach a weekly gross of $1,515,568, which represented 85.2% of its gross potential, The Phantom of the Opera saw a decrease of $142,204 to reach a weekly gross of $780,354, which represented 57.8% of its gross potential, and Waitress saw a decrease of $132,137 to reach a weekly gross of $766,927, which represented 75.2% of its gross potential. The biggest increase among the shows that were running both this past week and the week before was seen by Sunday in the Park with George, which went up by $160,134 to reach a weekly gross of $1,053,015, which represented 95.2% of its gross potential.
New Shows: “Miss Saigon” and “Sweat”
On March 1, 2017, Miss Saigon began previews at the Broadway Theatre, playing five performances in its first week of previews. Right out of the gate, the show is faring reasonably well. In this first partial week, the musical brought in a weekly gross of $723,243, which represents 76.1% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $248.00, the average paid admission was $86.98, and the audience was filled up to 95.7% on average. This new production of the highly acclaimed musical, which largely reunites the team from Les Misérables, with music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, and lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Alain Boublil, is a transfer of a London production for which a new young cast took over the celebrated roles. In the part of Kim, which was originated in a career-making turn by Lea Salonga, is Eva Noblezada, who was found after a nationwide search in the Philippines. Meanwhile, the role of The Engineer is played by Jon Jon Briones, and the role of Chris is played by Alistair Brammer. All three are making their Broadway debuts. The show is scheduled to open on March 23, 2017.
Meanwhile, Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat also began previews this past week, playing one performance this past week on March 4, 2017. From that one performance, the box office gross was $53,780, which represents 62.7% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $209.00, the average paid admission was $89.33, and the audience was filled up to 91.4%. This transfer from the Public Theater is award-winning playwright Lynn Nottage’s Broadway debut. The first preview may be too soon to diagnose the early box office traction, but next week’s numbers will be more telling. The show is scheduled to open on March 26, 2017.