Broadway Grosses Analysis: Merrily Opens to Sold-Out Houses as Overall Attendance Sees Uptick | Playbill

Grosses Broadway Grosses Analysis: Merrily Opens to Sold-Out Houses as Overall Attendance Sees Uptick

The Sondheim revival continues to be a top grosser even when comping performances around opening.

Graphic by Vi Dang

Broadway's box office rose by an impressive 17% last week compared to the week prior, bringing in a total of $26.97 million. While representing a healthy increase, it still falls short of this week last season, which, thanks primarily to the Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster-led revival of The Music Man, saw cumulative grosses just shy of $30 million. But the shows that are playing this season are filling seats, with the 26 currently-running productions playing to 89% full houses. More than 200,000 people saw a Broadway show last week with an average ticket price of $127.31.

The starry (and freshly opened) revival of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along fell out of the top five thanks to a fully comped October 8 opening and lots of press comps at other performances, but the production is still turning out to be a top grosser with $1.2 million even with the above asterisks. The show will have less comps going forward and begins a more traditional eight-performance week this week, meaning we're likely to see the production closer to the top of the charts pronto. The revival, the musical's first-ever on Broadway, is really making an impressive comeback after its original production closed a failure with just 16 regular performances.

Otherwise, the top grossers of the week were the usual suspects, with The Lion King taking the top spot with $2.3 million, followed by WickedHamiltonMJ The Musical, and Sweeney Todd. It will be interesting to see if we consistently get two Sondheim revivals in the top five each week, as happened last week.

Among the season's newest productions, Merrily and Back to the Future are the undisputed champions so far, coming in ranked at tenth and ninth place overall, respectively. Gutenberg!, still in previews ahead of an October 12 opening, has been steadily rising and could well join the list of the season's successes in short order.

Take a look at the full report here.

The $1 Million Club (shows that earned $1 million or more at the box office):

(12 of 26 currently running productions)

The 90s Club (shows that played to 90% or higher of their seats filled over the entire week):

(15 of 26 currently running productions)

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