Broadway Box-Office Analysis, July 15-21, 2013
By Robert Simonson
Playbill's newest weekly feature examines the box-office trends of the past week.
Soul Doctor, the new musical about the controversial "Singing Rabbi" Shlomo Carlebach, which had an earlier Off-Broadway run, entered the Broadway fray this week. It collected near $110,000 over five previews from an audience that averaged 86% capacity. Unsurprisingly for a newcomer — and an unknown quantity on Broadway, produced and played by people who have not worked there before — the average ticket price was $36.71, the lowest of the week.
Also new to the Broadway boards this week was Let It Be, the faux Beatles concert, which played eight previews at the St. James to a 71% capacity audience. The nearly $400,000 take represented a mere 31% of the show's potential weekly revenue.
Still in previews was the new musical First Date, which earned $350,000 and played to 89% full houses. That showing represented a slight dip from its first week.
Tony winner Kinky Boots continued to show that theatregoers are willing to pay top dollar (highest ticket price: $139.74) for the new sold-out hit. Audiences were slightly above capacity. Matilda, Motown: The Musical, Pippin, Newsies and The Book of Mormon retain their status as audience bait; all five played to capacity. (The Lion King just missed the mark.)
Musicals commanding softer audiences hovering in the 80%-90% range included Annie, Cinderella, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia! and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
For the second week in a row, no play attracted audience dollars as much as Tony winner Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which fetched $684,000 and 94% capacity crowds. The Broadway performance of the Christopher Durang comedy bodes well for its future life in regional houses.
Overall, receipts this week were nearly half a million over last week, largely due to the addition of the two new shows Let It Be and Soul Doctor. Audience numbers inched from 217,926 to 225,234. Average paid admission was $104.85. Compared to last season, gross, attendance and playing weeks were all down.
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