Broadway shows take a hit at the box office following Sandy

A New York street sign at Broadway in Times Square. Shows predictably took a significant hit at the box office following super storm Sandy last week.
(Charles Sykes / Associated Press)

Broadway shows reported declines in box-office revenue across the board last week following super storm Sandy. Total Broadway grosses were $13.6 million for the week ending Sunday, down about $5.7 million, or 30%, from the previous week, according to data provided by the Broadway League.

Sandy hit the area last Monday, prompting shows to cancel performances. Most Broadway shows resumed their normal schedules by Thursday, but the tri-state area was still reeling from power outages that affected public transportation as well as traffic in and out of Manhattan.

Total Broadway revenue for the week was down 36% from the same week last year.

Blockbuster shows that took big hits included “The Phantom of the Opera,” which saw its weekly receipts drop 39%; “Wicked,” which dropped 30%; and “Jersey Boys,” which fell by 32%.


Some Broadway productions offered discounted tickets in the days immediately following Sandy. “Nice Work If You Can Get It” offered $37 tickets to people from states affected by the storm. The musical saw its revenue drop nearly 55% from the week before.

Other shows offering post-Sandy discounts were “Cyrano,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “The Performers.”

“The Book of Mormon” appeared to have weathered the storm better than most, reporting only a slight decline in weekly revenue.

The number of seats sold on Broadway for the week fell by 30% to 149,443. On a normal week, a typical Broadway show has eight performances. Last week, shows had between five and seven performances.

Off-Broadway theaters and those in downtown New York were hit the hardest in the past week. Power outages in lower Manhattan meant that many had to keep their doors closed until at least Saturday.

Carnegie Hall will reopen on Wednesday after being closed for more than a week. The concert venue was closed longer than most cultural institutions due to its proximity to the dangling crane off a high-rise structure on W. 57th St.



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