Broadway box office: Christmas comes early as 12 shows top $1 million

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Image Credit: Joan Marcus

For Broadway producers, Thanksgiving brought some extra trimmings this year. According to figures from the Broadway League, a dozen Broadway shows topped $1 million at the box office for the week ending Nov. 25 — the first time that’s happened all year. Perennial musical hits led the list: Wicked ($2.3 million), The Lion King ($2.1 million), The Book of Mormon ($1.8 million), and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.78 million). The fifth slot went to the just-opened revival Annie (pictured above), which took a stroll down Easy Street by selling $1.5 million in tickets, 105 percent of the show’s potential gross and a house record for the Palace Theatre. (Premium ticket charges spiked the average ticket price to $116, from $89 the week before.)

Two other new productions took advantage of seasonal enthusiasm: A Christmas Story: The Musical, which opened last Monday, took in $1.1 million for the week — though it managed to sneak in an extra ninth performance to goose its box office total. The show earned a promising 70 percent of its potential gross. Another holiday-themed screen-to-stage musical, Elf, fell just short of the seven-figure mark with $997,000 over eight performances, about 60 percent of its potential gross.

Filling out the million-dollar club last week: Once ($1.17 million), The Phantom of the Opera ($1.13 million), Mary Poppins ($1.12 million), Newsies ($1.11 million), Evita ($1.01 million), and Jersey Boys ($1.01 million).

The Al Pacino-led revival of Glengarry Glen Ross earns an asterisk for the week — and not just because the high-grossing nonmusical drama is officially still in previews before its Dec. 8 premiere. Glengarry used the Thanksgiving holiday to scale back its schedule to five performances (instead of its usual seven). As a result, its haul last week was just $853,737, down from $1.16 million the previous week.

Meanwhile, turkey time had a very different meaning for the producers of Scandalous, the new musical biography of Aimee Semple McPherson with book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford. In its first full week since its Nov. 15 opening, the show scraped up a thin gruel of $194,511, less than 16 percent of its potential gross, and played to houses that were less than one third full. Even a presidential pardon is unlikely to save this one.

Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier

Read more:
This Week on Stage: ‘Elf’ and ‘A Christmas Story’ kick up their leg lamps on Broadway
‘Smash’: Extended preview promises bigger, better, guest-starrier season 2 — VIDEO
Paul Rudd reveals what he thought when an audience member vomited during his play
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