Even with more shows than in recent weeks—31 compared to 28 the week previous—attendance and grosses took a dip on Broadway this past week. Cumulative box office receipts fell by more than $1 million and capacity, which has been hanging steady at and around 90% across Broadway, dropped to 84%.
This doesn't mean last week was a failure. Six of last week's 31 shows spent much, if not all, of the entire week in previews. With producers eager to build word of mouth for new productions, cheap and even free tickets tend to be far more plentiful during a show's preview period. We'll know better how the season is faring once more of the new titles have cleared opening night.
That didn't stop Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & The Pool from playing to sold-out houses, however. Beginning previews October 28, the solo performance filled 100.05% of seats at the Vivian Beaumont, though a low average ticket price of just $51.30 translated to only $219K at the box office. The Phantom of the Opera also continued to welcome theatre fans eager to see the Andrew Lloyd Webber one more time before its historic run ends next February, with 100.51% of seats filled at the Majestic and $1.6 million in sales.
That left Phantom the second best-attended show of the week after The Lion King. Though the Disney musical played to less than 100% capacity, a higher total seat count allowed more people to see it than Phantom.
The top-grossing shows expectedly comprised usual suspects The Music Man with $2.7 million, Hamilton with $1.9 million, MJ The Musical with $1.8 million, The Lion King with $1.7 million, and Funny Girl with $1.6 million, the latter continuing its dramatic turnaround after adding Glee star Lea Michele and Tovah Feldshuh to the company.
Take a look at the full report here.