Broadway B.O. Leaps Even As ‘Lion King’ & ‘Wicked’ Feel Winter Chill

Joan Marcus

With the three-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend as a spur, the Broadway box office defied the January trend, pole-vaulting 27% over the same week in 2017 and even surpassing the previous week by 2%. All that despite some staggering nose-dives among the family-friendly crowd.

Matthew Murphy

That includes Disney’s two shows: The Lion King was off $681K from the previous week at the Nederlander Organization’s Minskoff Theatre, while Aladdin, installed at the Mouse’s New Amsterdam flagship, skidded nearly a quarter-million dollars. It wasn’t a great week for Andrew Lloyd Webber, either: The Phantom of the Opera, tagging the 30-year mark at the Shubert Organization’s Majestic Theatre, fell a chandelier-swinging $371K, while School of Rock, at the Shuberts’ Winter Garden, was off $193K. Wicked, at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin, was off $280K from the week before.

A sizable chunk of the $7 million increase over the year before can be attributed to Bruce Springsteen, who’d taken the week after New Year’s off; his return to Jujamcyn Theatres’ Walter Kerr added $2.4 million back into the pot. Bette Midler’s farewell week in Hello, Dolly! at the Shubert was up $230K, while the Steve Martin comedy Meteor Shower and star Amy Schumer, at the Shuberts’ Booth, added $246K to its coffers.

Hello Dolly
Julieta Cervantes

In addition to Midler making way for Bernadette Peters to step into her red gown beginning this Saturday night, there were two other noteworthy departures: Javier Muñoz, the original replacement for Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role of Hamilton, bowed out after an acclaimed run, as did Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, whose closing despite continued good business in the $1-million club still left some scratching their heads, ended its run at the Nederlanders’ Lunt-Fontanne.

The five top-grossing musicals were:

Hamilton ($3.1 million at the Nederlanders’ Richard Rodgers; $288.61 average ticket)

Hello, Dolly! ($2.43 million at the Shubert; $236.78)

Springsteen On Broadway ($2.41 million for 5 performances at Jujamcyn’s Walter Kerr; $508.68)

The Lion King ($1.94 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $143.17)

Dear Evan Hansen ($1.74 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box; 217.83)

The five top-grossing plays were:

• Meteor Shower ($935.5K at the Shuberts’ Booth; $148.07 )

• Farinelli and the King ($868K at the Shuberts’ Belasco; $105.42 average ticket)

Latin History For Morons ($525K for 7 performances at the Roundabout’s Studio 54; $91.48)

The Parisian Woman ($462.6K at the Ambassador Theatre Group’s Hudson; $71.46)

The Play That Goes Wrong ($418.6 at the Shuberts’ Lyceum; $77.03)

Ticket sales for Week 34 of the 2017-2018 Broadway season totaled $32.95 million for 29 shows, according to the trade group Broadway League. That was an increase of 2% or $290K over the week before ($32.2 million) and 27 % or $7 million over the same week in 2017. Average ticket price was $132.30, up from $126.21 last week and $114.77 a year ago.

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