Broadway had a bountiful, final full week of 2014, which the collected box office of all 36 shows leaping more than $9 million, from $31,278,712 last week to $40,843,987 and attendance rising 37,000 to 317,826.
Christmas-week audience led to full and near full houses at The River, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, The Lion King, The Elephant Man, The Book of Mormon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Matilda the Musical, Les Miserables, Kinky Boots, It’s Only a Play, Cabaret, Aladdin, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Once.
Perhaps the most surprising of those box-office performances was that of Once, the long-running, Tony-winning musical that has been chugging along for two years but hasn’t seen capacity house in more than a year. Once collected 96% of its possible box office, collecting more than $230,000 more than it had the previous week. Helping those number along is the fact that the show is in its final days.
Many of the above shows exceeded their potential box-office numbers. Aladdin took in 119% of its possible gross. Matilda did 126%. Cinderella, which played to houses that were 95% full, raked in 126% of the expected. But no one — not even The Book of Mormon — beat Wicked, which racked up 154% of its possible box office, with an average ticket price of $178.59. That resulted in Wicked making nearly one million more than it had the previous week. On the Town broke the $1 million mark for the first time last week; coincidentally, the week also marked the 70th anniversary of the opening of the original production.
Almost every single show saw an increase at the box office, including struggling shows like Honeymoon in Vegas, Side Show and The Last Ship. The only exceptions were the revivals of A Delicate Balance and The Real Thing and, curiously, the hit Hugh Jackman piece The River, which fell slightly at the box office, while still remaining sold out.
The burst of activity led to the season to date recording a box-office number of $833,949,350, nearly 100 million more than last season at this time, when 30 shows occupied the boards.