A lion roars on Broadway as field workplace hauls reveal winners

NEW YORK — It was feast or famine on the Broadway field workplace as 2022 wound down, with eye-popping income for fashionable exhibits — together with a staggering new Broadway document for “The Lion King” — not lifting all strugglers.

Twenty-one of the 33 exhibits accessible broke the $1 million mark for the week ending Sunday, and “The Lion King” made historical past with the most important haul ever — an astonishing $4,315,264 over 9 performances for a 25-year-old present with no stars. It took the crown from “Hamilton, the primary Broadway present to crack $4 million, which it did with eight performances on the finish of 2018.

“The Music Man” was shut behind with two high-wattage stars in Sutton Foster and Hugh Jackman — $3,971,531 over 9 exhibits — adopted by “Wicked” with $3,152,679. The high common ticket value went to “The Music Man” with $285.80, nearly a greenback greater than “The Lion King.”

All exhibits bar one — “A Christmas Carol” — noticed their numbers develop over the week ending Sunday. However, the standard bump was barely evident for “Topdog/Underdog,” with simply $345,567 over eight exhibits, and “Ohio State Murders” pulling in simply $311,893 to a half-empty theater over 9 performances regardless of the presence of six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald. A revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning darkish comedy “Between Riverside and Crazy” starring the rapper Common pulled in simply $260,085.

Box workplace numbers had been treacherous for brand spanking new works even earlier than the vacations — early closing notices had been posted for exhibits like “Almost Famous,” “KPOP,” “A Strange Loop” and “Ain’t No Mo’.” The Broadway stalwart “The Phantom of the Opera” beforehand introduced it will shut in 2023 after 35 years. That announcement was met with a ticket spike.

The knowledge is a reminder that Broadway has not absolutely rebounded from the pandemic, which worn out stay theater for 18 months and dried up its lifeblood — tourism.

Tom Kirdahy, a veteran producer behind the present starry revival of “The Piano Lesson” and the upcoming “New York, New York,” stated audiences are steadily coming again and may very well be again to regular by spring.

“It’s very clear that purchasing patterns are completely different, but it surely’s equally clear that audiences are craving good work, and I believe the problem is to remind people who New York is definitely a secure place to be and that theaters are secure locations to be,” he stated.

The 33 exhibits operating on Broadway grossed $51,912,862 final week, the most important seven-day interval for the reason that final week of 2019, when the field workplace earned $55,765,408. The vacation interval is very tough on performers and crew members who’re normally requested to employees additional performances.

While January and February are among the many bitterest months on Broadway, many producers had been popping champagne after the most recent numbers. The 26-year-old revival of the musical “Chicago” earned its largest weekly complete with $1,299,404 and “The Piano Lesson” starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington and Danielle Brooks grew to become the highest-grossing August Wilson play on Broadway in historical past final week.

The Lea Michele-led revival of “Funny Girl” set a brand new field workplace document on the August Wilson Theatre with $2,405,901. And the brand new musical “& Juliet” broke the field workplace document on the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, grossing $1,639,788 for 9 performances. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” broke the home document on the Lyric Theatre, grossing $2,671,191 for its eight-performance week.

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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