'Once,' 'Porgy and Bess' both get big post-Tony box office bumps

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Image Credit: Joan Marcus

In the first full week since the June 10 Tony Awards, Once (pictured at left) and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess both posted big gains in ticket sales. Once, which claimed eight prizes, including Best Musical, earned $955,362 for the week ending June 17, an increase of 13 percent from the previous week and about 81 percent of its potential gross. According to the Broadway League, two other new shows saw gains of roughly 12 percent last week: the Tony-winning revival Porgy and Bess ($655,364, roughly half its potential gross) and the comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, starring the Best Actor in a Play winner James Corden ($648,405, nearly 70 percent its potential gross).

Three other new Broadway shows had double-digit-percentage increases last week. The long-struggling revival Godspell, which will have its last performance this Sunday, had a 24 percent increase to $194,322 (still roughly a quarter of the show’s potential gross). And two new dramas ended long runs yesterday with spectacular box office jumps: Venus in Fur, starring Best Actress in a Play winner Nina Arianda, was up 50 percent in its final week to $635,622, while Other Desert Cities, with Best Featured Actress in a Play winner Judith Light, was up 22 percent to $424,313.

There were only modest post-Tony gains for other Broadway newbies. Newsies, already a hit playing to nearly full houses, rose 5 percent last week to $1.05 million. Best Play winner Clybourne Park, five-fold Tony winner Peter and the Starcatcher, two-time winner Nice Work If You Can Get It and the Tony-snubbed revival A Streetcar Named Desire had only modest upticks in ticket sales for the week.

The news was far worse for musicals like Ghost and the revival Evita. Not only did they leave the awards derby empty-handed, both shows fell in ticket sales last week despite familiar titles and prominent production numbers during the June 10 Tonycast. Evita was down 11 percent to a still-strong $1.2 million (74 percent of its potential gross), while Ghost fell 6 percent to $562,010 (a troubling 41 percent of its potential earnings). Among new plays, The Columnist also fell 11 percent to $238,792 and The Lyons (which will close July 1) dropped 9 percent to $217,732.

Read more:
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EW’s Stage Hub

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