The winter chill has set in on Broadway, as business slid for the first full week following the Christmas-New Year’s holidays, according to figures released Monday by the League of American Theatres and Producers.
The drop was not unexpected and usually occurs this time of year, after the tourists have gone home and the weather turns colder. Yet there were several bright box-office spots, particularly the three members of the million-dollar club, “The Producers,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked.”
Both “The Producers” and “The Lion King” sold out, with the Mel Brooks musical taking in $1.37 million for the week and the Disney show grossing $1.1 million. The previous week, which included $600 tickets on New Year’s Eve, “The Producers” grossed a record $1.6 million. It also was the first week the show’s original stars, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, were back in the musical. “The Producers” is virtually sold out for the length of their return engagement, which ends April 4.
“Wicked” also grossed $1 million last week and was just under capacity, filling nearly 96 percent of the seats at the cavernous Gershwin Theatre.
“Hairspray,” usually a hot ticket, fell below 90 percent capacity, yet grossed a still respectable $855,697. “Mamma Mia!” and “Avenue Q” had marginal slips, but each musical still topped 95 percent capacity at their theaters.
Harder hits were taken by several other big musicals including “42nd Street,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Never Gonna Dance” and “Gypsy.” “Taboo” slipped to $281,333, filling only half the seats at the Plymouth Theatre.
Several plays had precarious grosses. The Pulitzer Prize-winning “Anna in the Tropics” fell to $167,289, filling only 41 percent of the seats at the Royale, while “The Retreat From Moscow” took in $164,786 at the Booth Theatre, 55 percent capacity at the smaller house.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)