By Robert Simonson
04 Mar 2014
Aladdin, the newest Disney musical, arrived on Broadway this week with a splash. Over five performances at the New Amsterdam Theatre, the Alan Menken-Howard Ashman musical played to nothing less than capacity — a rare feat for any show still in previews.
It wasn't the only new show to clear that hurdle, however. The latest incarnation of Les Misérables
also played to full houses — or, rather, one full house, as the revival only played a single preview at the Imperial last week. Les Misérables did better on the box-office front, taking in an impressive 101% of its possible draw (with a second-only-to-The Book of Mormon top ticket price of $128.46), while Aladdin collected a still-estimable 94% of the ducats possible.
In its final week on Broadway, the short-lived baseball drama Bronx Bombers performed before 67% capacity crowds but mustered up only 23% of its potential box office. The Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Sophie Treadwell's Machinal, meanwhile, played to seats that were 85% occupied during its final eight shows.
The trading in of two poorly-performing attractions for two hotly popular ones did not improve Broadway's standing, however. The overall gross on the street went down $2 million to $18,500,513. Attendance decreased by nearly 5,000. Numbers, in fact, were down at most houses.
Of the other shows still in previews, All The Way, headlined by Bryan Cranston, ran to 62% capacity, the Terrence McNally play Mothers and Sons commended houses 64% full and Rocky, based on the popular boxing film, was a 74%-capacity draw at the Winter Garden.