As good as last week was on Broadway, this past week that bridged 2014 and 2015 was even better. Overall gross across Broadway’s 37 shows (one more than last week) was $42,773,882, roughly two million above last week’s take, even if the average ticket price was down five bucks to $123.30. Attendance, too, was up by almost 30,000 to 346,913.
Several shows broke box-office records at their respective theatres. Wicked set a new industry record for the highest eight-performance week in Broadway history with a box office gross of $2,740,642.
Aladdin grossed $1,842,291 at the New Amsterdam. That marked the fifth time Aladdin has broken a house record since opening on March 20, 2014. The musical finished 2014 as the fifth highest-grossing show of the year, and the only show of the 2013-14 season to make the top five.
Another Disney attraction, The Lion King, broke the house record for an eight-performance week at the Minskoff Theatre with a gross of $2,514,893.92. That was the 24th house record set by the show since it moved to the Minskoff in 2006. For the second time in a row, the New York production topped the list of Broadway’s highest-grossing shows of the year. Broadway should enjoy the high numbers while it can, for next week will be a different story. Not only will the nine-show weeks that were common across Broadway last week disappear, but there will be considerably fewer attractions. Seven shows — Cinderella, Pippin, Once, Side Show, The Illusionists, The Real Thing and This Is Our Youth — closed on Broadway over the Jan. 3-4 weekend.
Two of those shows played to capacity houses during their final week: Once (which did as well the previous week) and The Real Thing, Cinderella, Pippin and Side Show, meanwhile, just missed the mark, playing to 99%-plus crowds. That showing was the best Side Show has mustered in its entire run at the St. James.
The Illusionists — which gave a whopping 12 performances over the week, and which has already recouped its investment — ran before seats that were 97% filled. And This Is Our Youth, offering nine performances, managed to sell 86% of its tickets.
The new kid on the block, The Temptations & The Four Tops on Broadway, began its run at the Palace playing to 75% capacity and culling 63% of its gross over seven performances.