Broadway Box Office Soars As Newcomers ‘The Who’s Tommy’, ‘Suffs’, ‘The Outsiders’, ‘The Wiz’ & Others Draw Crowds

Broadway box office soared last week, as five productions joined the roster, one returned and no fewer than 30 of the 32 shows saw attendance at 90% of capacity or more. Twenty productions were sell-outs.

A raft of recent arrivals were among the strong box office performers, with The Outsiders, The Wiz, Suffs, Hell’s Kitchen and The Great Gatsby filling all seats at their respective venues. The Who’s Tommy came within sight of the $1M mark.

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In all, the 32 shows grossed a whopping $37,095,505 for the week leading up to the Easter holiday, a 30% increase over the previous week and an 8% jump over last year at this time. Total attendance for the week ending March 31 was 271,802, an 18% boost over the previous week. More than 96% of all seats were occupied. Average ticket price was $136.48.

Among the notable entries:

  • Appropriate, starring Sarah Paulson and Corey Stoll, began its commercial transfer at the Belasco, grossing $777,541, with attendance at 95%;

  • The Who’s Tommy opened to strong reviews at the Nederlander, taking in $956,550, with attendance at 98%;

  • The Outsiders sold out six previews at the Jacobs, grossing $701,781; opening night is April 11;

  • Lempicka continued its pre-opening low-price strategy, filling 96% of seats the Longacre, grossing $416,616 for seven previews at a $59 average ticket. Opening night is April 14;

  • The Wiz began previews at the Marquis, grossing $941,425 and selling out all four previews. Opening night is April 17;

  • Suffs began previews at the Music Box, standing room only for six previews, with a gross of $460,623; opening night is April 18;

  • Hell’s Kitchen began previews at the Shubert, selling out three preview, grossing $624,961; opening night is April 20;

  • The Heart of Rock and Roll began previews at the James Earl Jones, filling 91% of seats for two shows, with a gross of $139,145; opening night is April 22;

  • The Great Gatsby began previews at the Broadway, selling out its two performances for a gross of $433,640; opening night is April 25;

  • Water For Elephants was at 96% of capacity at the Imperial, grossing a big $1,149,418 during a heavily comped press week;

  • The Notebook was a virtual sell-out at the Schoenfeld, taking in $946,125;

  • Spamalot, nearing its April 7 closing at the St. James, was at 97% of capacity, grossing $1,122,786.

Two long running Broadway staples had amazing nine-performance weeks: Wicked took in $2,910,585 and The Lion King was the roster’s top earner at $3,178,613. Aladdin, even with a heavily comped 10th anniversary performance on March 28, took in $1,810,211. Chicago broke another house record at the Ambassador, grossing $1,104,240.

Departing the roster was Days of Wine and Roses, grossing $411,616 with 65% of seats filled during its final week at Studio 54.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $1,285,177,052, with total attendance at 10,214,178 at 89% of capacity.

All figures courtesy of The Broadway League. For complete box office listings, visit the League’s website.

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