Hurricane Irene batters Broadway box-office receipts

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Broadway saw a huge dip in box-office revenue for the most recent week thanks to Hurricane Irene. Total ticket sales reported by the Broadway League were down by more than 40% from the previous week.

The hurricane, which hit the New York area over the weekend, caused the closure of the city’s mass transit system, which in turn prompted all 23 Broadway productions to cancel weekend performances.


The Broadway League reported Monday that total ticket sales for the week ending Sunday reached $11.6 million, down from $20.1 million a week ago. Total attendance was 130,853, down from 217,661 last week.

The drop in attendance was a foregone conclusion given the mass cancellation of performances on Saturday and Sunday. The last time Broadway saw an across-the-board shutdown was in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks 10 years ago.

Hit shows like ‘Wicked,’ ‘The Book of Mormon’ and ‘The Lion King’ saw attendance drop by 40%, 38% and 38%, respectively. Attendance for ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ fell 38% from the previous week, while the revival of ‘Anything Goes’ saw attendance plummet 55% from the prior week. Ticket holders for canceled performances are being offered refunds.

Broadway looked to be returning to normal this week, with performances resuming as scheduled.


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-- David Ng