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Broadway tickets dearer as pandemic eases

Folks buy tickets on the reopened TKTS sales space for Broadway exhibits in Instances Sq. on September 15, 2021 in New York, United States.

Liao Pan | China Information Service | Getty Photographs

Ticket costs for a lot of blockbuster Broadway exhibits have change into dearer, as theatergoers are paying up for a night out on the Nice White Approach.

Audiences seem like desirous to compensate for misplaced time, as the most recent Covid wave has abated an ideal deal. All Broadway exhibits went darkish again on March 12, 2020, throughout the pandemic’s early days. A number of exhibits by no means returned, however those who did, noticed a staggered reopening within the fall —ending an unprecedented hiatus.

For the primary time since exhibits resumed performances, the Broadway League on Tuesday launched weekly box-office grosses for particular person Broadway musicals and performs. The league, which is actually Broadway’s commerce affiliation, had beforehand chosen to droop that weekly observe even after exhibits acquired again up and working within the fall and into the winter.

Listed here are some key takeaways from the figures for the latest week, which ended March 20:

  • There are greater ticket costs and fewer reductions, notably for blockbuster musicals – particularly the extra household oriented ones. “Aladdin,” “The Lion King” and “Depraved” – in addition to the stalwart “The Phantom of the Opera” – are among the many exhibits seeing a considerably greater common ticket worth in contrast with March 2020.
  • Regardless of the expensive tickets, there’s pent-up demand and attendance is robust. Many exhibits are taking part in to sold-out or practically full homes. Sixteen of the 22 productions taking part in on Broadway stuffed 90% or extra of the seats of their theaters.
  • Twelve of the 22 exhibits on Broadway are posting weekly grosses of greater than $1 million. Simply earlier than the pandemic closure, solely a 3rd of exhibits taking part in on the time have been grossing that a lot. Nonetheless, there have been way more exhibits two years in the past: 30 productions have been working earlier than the pandemic stoppage, with 10 grossing not less than $1 million per week.
  • Theatergoers are paying a premium to see stars. X-Males star Hugh Jackman and Broadway’s main woman, Sutton Foster, headline the revival of “The Music Man,” which opened in February. That manufacturing grossed a staggering $3.5 million in per week and had a mean ticket worth of $283. Each figures are by far the very best on the Nice White Approach. “Hamilton” got here in second with a mean of $213, and it was the one different present that grossed greater than $2 million. The Neil Simon revival “Plaza Suite,” starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, drew slightly below $213 per ticket. Proper earlier than the pandemic, solely “Hamilton” noticed a mean worth over $200 on Broadway.
  • Have a look, too, on the highest ticket costs for every of these three exhibits. “The Music Man” set the bar at $697, “Plaza Suite” pulled in $549, and “Hamilton” registered at $449.

The newest box-office grosses, ticket costs and attendance figures are a stark distinction to what occurred across the vacation season and into January. The Christmastime weeks are traditionally an important weeks of the yr for Broadway productions. That is after they can cost premium costs and principally play to full theaters because of the vacation season.

However that modified late in 2021 when the omicron surge as soon as once more crippled enterprise on Broadway. Though nearly all Broadway actors, musicians, theater personnel and theatergoers have been required to be vaccinated, they weren’t proof against the extremely contagious variant. Some Broadway exhibits needed to pause for just a few days – or in some instances weeks – as a result of so many within the forged and crew examined constructive. In January, which is often a more difficult time of the yr to fill homes, audiences stayed away due to the virus, and attendance suffered much more.

Along with publishing the latest week’s knowledge, the Broadway League additionally launched all of the previous weeks’ knowledge that had been withheld since Broadway’s fall reopening. These figures supplied perception into how tough enterprise was within the wake of omicron. Check out the week ended Jan. 16 for instance:

  • Greater than half of the exhibits open on the time (14 out of 25) have been taking part in to theaters that have been below 75% full.
  • The theater was solely 67% full for “Depraved.” The hit musical grossed below $1.1 million that week – far under the $1.9 million it grossed in its most up-to-date week.
  • “Phantom of the Opera” solely stuffed 45% of its seats that week. It grossed just a little greater than half one million {dollars} – a fraction of the $959,000 that it did it the most recent week.
  • Attendance for “Hamilton” dropped to 78% of capability – which might be in any other case unprecedented for the hit present.

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