‘God of Carnage’ was a box-office hit for Ahmanson Theatre

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God of Carnage,’ which closed Sunday at the Ahmanson Theatre, has proved to be a certified box-office hit for Center Theatre Group. The company reported Tuesday that the Yasmina Reza play sold 97,567 tickets and grossed $7,794,941 for its eight-week run, the most of any play -- but not musical -- in the company’s history.

The show’s financial success was due in no small part to the casting of the original Broadway ensemble -- Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden. The production, directed by Matthew Warchus, was virtually identical to the staging in New York that received the Tony Award for best play in 2009.

The Ahmanson’s capacity for ‘God of Carnage’ was 2,070 seats per performance, versus the capacity of New York’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (where the play ran) of approximately 1,078 seats.

The previous top-grossing play at the Ahmanson was ‘The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,’ which starred Lily Tomlin, earning $3.7 million for an eight-week run in the 2002-03 season. The next highest-grossing play was a revival of ‘Death of a Salesman,’ starring Brian Dennehy, which brought in about $3.5 million in eight weeks during the 2000-01 season.


CTG said that its highest-grossing musicals include ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ which ran for close to four years, bringing in $163 million, as well as ‘Jersey Boys,’ which ran for 15 weeks in 2007 as part of a national tour, earning $18 million. The company said ‘God of Carnage’ also broke the record for the highest-grossing week of sales for a play, earning $1,149,655 in the last week of its run.

‘God of Carnage,’ translated into English by Christopher Hampton, tells the story of two sets of parents who attempt to forge a peace after their sons are involved in a fight. But their efforts ultimately prove futile as they descend into childish behavior over the course of an evening.


Theater review: ‘God of Carnage’ at the Ahmanson Theatre

Playwrights Yasmina Reza and Christopher Hampton discuss ‘God of Carnage’

How Broadway’s original ‘God of Carnage’ cast came together for L.A.

Theater review: ’33 Variations’ at the Ahmanson Theatre

-- David Ng

Photo (top): Jeff Daniels, Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis and James Gandolfini in ‘God of Carnage’ at the Ahmanson. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Photo (bottom): The Ahmanson Theatre. Credit: Center Theatre Group