January was a cold week for the Broadway box office, following a record-breaking stupendous New Year’s week, and Junk saw a slight upsurge in its final week.
Sales Down by Over $13 Million After New Years Week
In the week ending January 7, 2018, Broadway saw a steep drop. Among the 29 shows running this past week, there was a decrease of over $13 million, or over 30%, from these same shows in the week before. However, the facts are not quite so dire as these numbers might seem to imply. First of all, New Year’s week is always an extraordinary box office week on Broadway, due to the holiday bringing countless tourists to town, and the cause for celebration being a good excuse to pay Broadway ticket prices, and the first week of January is always a dose of reality about the cold winter to come. In addition, these numbers are made more extreme because a whopping 25 shows opted to play nine performances in New Year’s week, so a big proportion of this drop was purely due to the return to a normal performance schedule. Furthermore, one of the biggest earners in the current Broadway landscape, Springsteen on Broadway, took some time off this past week, so that show didn’t factor into the collective grosses. That being said, every single one of these 29 shows, with the exception of Junk, which increased by the negligible amount of $8,273 over eight performances, saw a decrease in ticket sales this past week. The biggest decrease was seen by Wicked, which went down by $1,374,446 to reach a weekly gross of $1,926,621, but this still represents 108.3% of its gross potential. In addition, The Phantom of the Opera went down by $912,505 to reach a weekly gross of $1,233,621, or 91.0% of its gross potential, The Book of Mormon went down by $754,292 to reach a weekly gross of $1,328,785, or 111.4 of its gross potential, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory went down by $777,808 to reach a weekly gross of $1,277,069, or 91.8% of its gross potential. Nevertheless, the sales were still not too shabby overall. Despite this enormous decrease, the overall industry still brought in 83.23% of its gross potential, and the theatres were filled up to an average of 91.28% of capacity.
“Junk” Saw Slight Boost in Final Week
Though every single other show saw a decrease last week, the only show that saw a slight increase was Ayad Akhtar’s play Junk, which went up by $8,273 to reach a weekly gross of $465,747 in its final week. This represents 42.0% of its gross potential. While Junk may not have performed to its box office expectations, it did maintain respectable sales throughout the run, and it finished with a little upsurge. Another notable change this past week was Meteor Shower, which saw a decrease in ticket sales due to the absence of its star, Amy Schumer, who was out sick this past week. Without Schumer in the company, the show brought in $709,510, which is a decrease of $403,045 from the week before, and which represents 84.3% of its gross potential. In that situation, the highest performing straight play was Farinelli and the King starring Mark Rylance, which brought in a weekly gross of $814,072, or 87.7% of its gross potential. The only other plays this winter season include John Lithgow: Stories by Heart, which brought in $259,548 this past week, or 40.8% of its gross potential, Latin History for Morons, which brought in $497,135, or 59.6% of its gross potential, The Children, which brought in $217,788, or 31.7% of its gross potential, The Parisian Woman, which brought in $407,628, or 39.3% of its gross potential, and The Play That Goes Wrong, which brought in $453,677, or 66.9% of its gross potential.