This Was A Very Slow Week On Broadway, With Ticket Sales Decreasing Almost Across The Board. The Only Exception Was It’s Only A Play.

A Very Slow Week For Broadway

In the week ending September 7, 2014, the entire Broadway industry saw a decrease in gross sales of $2,504,029 from the week prior. Of the 24 shows presently running, only one saw an increase in sales. That was It’s Only a Play, written by Terrence McNally and starring Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Rupert Grint.

The only reason that show saw an increase, however, is because last week it began its run with only 5 performances. This week was its first full week of eight performances, and thus it increased its gross by $370,580.

Big Loss For Wicked

However, the show’s gross potential decreased from 112.45% last week to 104.48% this week. Even though that show is still performing amazingly for a new production of a straight play still in previews, it too saw a relative decrease from last week.

As for the other shows, every single one was in the red comparatively, with the biggest loss seen by Wicked, which earned $367,560 less this week than the week before. Still Wicked grossed a respectable $1,340,668.

What Is The Reason For This?

The reason for such a steep decline can only be speculated. It can be chalked up to the fact that we are in a transition between seasons. We are officially out of the summer season, with Labor Day a full week behind us, and therefore most Americans who travel to New York for a summer vacation are firmly back in their school and work routines.

New Yorkers, however, are either still holding onto the idea of summer, taking last minute trips out of town while the weather is still warm, or they are also beginning to buckle down for the start of fall. In any case, they are not focused on Broadway.

"It's Only A Play" Attracts Attention

The exception is the new play It’s Only a Play which hints of more exciting fare to come in this fall season. That show is attracting a lot of attention and sales, and its opening press is sure to make it an even hotter ticket than it already is. We can trust that sales will pick up as the season is more firmly underway.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending September 7, 2014
Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis 9/07/14
Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $840,503 7,235 99.71% $116.17
ALADDIN $1,299,483 13,736 99.65% $94.60
BEAUTIFUL $1,077,517 7,244 88.26% $148.75
CABARET $623,833 5,522 77.30% $112.97
CHICAGO $559,420 7,152 82.78% $78.22
CINDERELLA $458,836 6,499 46.39% $70.60
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $514,411 5,622 69.79% $91.50
IF/THEN $589,923 7,882 75.15% $74.84
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $1,163,626 8,465 98.98% $137.46
JERSEY BOYS $799,476 8,087 82.32% $98.86
KINKY BOOTS $1,172,025 10,725 94.15% $109.28
LES MISÉRABLES $788,527 9,581 85.00% $82.30
MAMMA MIA! $616,314 7,773 83.33% $79.29
MATILDA $803,129 10,024 87.50% $80.12
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $979,034 10,715 88.88% $91.37
ONCE $420,739 5,512 65.06% $76.33
PIPPIN $492,718 6,370 80.43% $77.35
ROCK OF AGES $315,675 3,857 82.70% $81.84
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,532,948 8,751 102.61% $175.17
THE LION KING $1,677,604 13,396 98.50% $125.23
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $918,819 11,382 88.64% $80.73
THIS IS OUR YOUTH $367,207 7,220 85.06% $50.86
WICKED $1,340,668 13,507 93.33% $99.26
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $490,887 6,871 80.04% $71.44
Totals: $19,843,322 203,128 84.82% $96.02
Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014