Broadway Grosses Analysis: Even With Comped Performances, Cabaret Is Dominating at the Box Office | Playbill

Grosses Broadway Grosses Analysis: Even With Comped Performances, Cabaret Is Dominating at the Box Office

The Tony-nominated revival was the second highest-grossing show on the boards last week in the first post-Tony nominations box-office data.

Graphic by Vi Dang

In the first batch of box-office data reflecting ticket sales after Tony nominations were announced April 30, Cabaret is establishing itself as a reliable top grosser. According to production representatives, the show was still heavily comping performances last week to get press and now Tony voters in. And yet the production still managed to bring in $1.9 million, the second-highest total on Broadway. Playing the Kit Kat Club (née August Wilson Theatre), the revival also maintained its spot with the highest average ticket price, at $224.

The top five list was otherwise filled out by usual suspects The Lion KingHamilton, and Wicked; and, in the final week of its run, Sweeney Todd. Also continuing to perform well—Tony Award nominations be damned!—is The Wiz. The revival, at the Marquis, slipped out of the top five this week, but only just barely, coming in at number six with $1.59 million.

As for tracking the rest of the impact of Tony nominations, it's tricky. Many of this year's nominated productions opened just before the eligibility cut-off, leaving them still comping performances for press and now Tony voters. Only a handful of the new titles made it into The $1 Million Club this week, specifically CabaretThe WizMerrily We Roll AlongHell's KitchenThe Great GatsbyAn Enemy of the People, and Water for Elephants. Best Revival of a Musical nominee The Who's Tommy missed the mark by just a hair with receipts in excess of $900,000—Uncle Vanya, too!

Two of those were aided by playing large-capacity venues and packing them in with theatregoers, even if the ticket prices they paid fell short of competitors. Both The Wiz and Hell's Kitchen were among the five most-attended shows last week, with 12,124 and 11,505 (respectively) people attending one of their eight performances, both in houses with less than 10% of seats empty cumulatively. This sets up Hell's Kitchen especially to become quite the juggernaut if Tony success makes the Alicia Keys musical a hot ticket. Its producers will no doubt be more than happy to fill the 1,443-seat Shubert with even higher-paying audience members.

Overall, grosses actually fell slightly, by 7.45% to a grand total of $34.76 million over the 35 currently running shows. Seats were 88% full, which is great—289,947 people saw a show last week—but producers will definitely be looking to replace comped industry members with paying ticket holders pronto.

Take a look at the full report here.

The $1 Million Club (shows that earned $1 million or more at the box office):

(15 of 35 currently running productions)

The 90s Club (shows that played to 90% or higher of their seats filled over the entire week):

(19 of 35 currently running productions)

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