Broadway Bounces For Thanksgiving; ‘Tina’, ‘Beetlejuice’ Set House Records, David Byrne Joins Million Dollar Club


Broadway’s Thanksgiving Weekend was a trip to bountiful, with Tina and Beetlejuice breaking house records, David Byrne joining the Million Dollar Club and total box office for the 35 productions soaring a big 30% over the previous week. In all, Broadway grossed $41,687,333, strong if not quite matching last Thanksgiving’s $43M.

With attendance of 292,940 up only 5% from the previous week, the boost in receipts can thank increased ticket prices. Broadway’s average paid admission for the week ending Dec. 1 was $142, 23% over the previous week’s $115.

It might be too soon to tell what impact their Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade performances had on ticket sales, but Tina and Beetlejuice – both making good use of the national airtime, particularly Tina‘s perfect-for-TV “Rolling On The River” – set house records at their theaters. Tina took in $1,834,636 at the Lunt-Fontanne, surpassing the previous record of $1.7M set in 2013 by Motown.

Beetlejuice broke the eight-performance record at the Winter Garden with $1,589,839, taking the crown from School of Rock ($1.506M in 2015).

Another notable: David Byrne’s American Utopia broke $1M for the first time in its run, grossing $1,013,988 for six performances. That’s 127% of the production’s potential, meaning plenty in the audience paid premium prices: The show’s average ticket price was a big $178. (American Utopia ends its run Feb. 16).

In addition to Tina, Beetlejuice and Utopia, other shows hitting or surpassing their box office potential included Ain’t Too Proud ($1.6M), Come From Away ($1.2M), Dear Evan Hanson ($1.4M), Hadestown, another Macy’s Parade showcase ($1.6M), the mighty Hamilton ($3.4M), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ($1.5M), CBS parader Mean Girls ($1.2M), Moulin Rouge! ($2.3M), The Book of Mormon ($1.3M), To Kill A Mockingbird ($2M), and Wicked ($2.2M).

A Christmas Carol, starring Campbell Scott as Scrooge, didn’t hit potential, but still took a nice hike northward from the previous week, grossing $734,745 for nine performances, with average ticket price a solid $122.

The holiday wasn’t quite so plentiful for some of the stragglers, though, with The Inheritance, Slave Play, Slava’s Snowshow, The Great Society (in its closing week), The Lightning Thief, The Sound Inside, Tootsie and Betrayal grossing around 50% (or less) of their potentials.

Jagged Little Pill, with a weekend of press comps building to its Dec. 5 opening, grossed $935,865, about 75% of potential at the Broadhurst but filling 96% of seats.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $886,606,454, down about 7% year to year. Total attendance to date is 7,350,276, about even with last season at this time.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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