Broadway box office: Denzel Washington's 'Raisin in the Sun' is season's biggest hit

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Image Credit: Brigitte Lacombe

There are no dreams deferred for the producers of the Denzel Washington-led revival of A Raisin in the Sun. In its first full week since its April 3 opening, director Kenny Leon’s well-reviewed revival earned a remarkable $1.18 million, according to figures from the Broadway League covering ticket sales for the week ending April 13. That makes it the fifth highest-grossing show of the week and the only non-musical to cross the seven-figure threshold. And thanks to premium ticket prices as high as $348, Raisin actually exceeded the estimated gross potential of the Ethel Barrymore Theatre by 16 percent.

The new season is yielding many other hits as well, particularly on the musical front. Disney’s Aladdin conjured $1.18 million; the new revival of Les Misérables brought home $1.15 million at the end of the day; the Idina Menzel-topped musical If/Then took in $964,759; and the Carole King bio-musical Beautiful drummed up <$917,392. Virtually all earned more than three-quarters of the maximum potential earnings for their venues.

Neil Patrick Harris' Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which has played to full capacity since its first performance, earned $884,092 from just seven shows (most Broadway productions have eight performances a week). Meanwhile, Michelle Williams’ Cabaret willkommened $667,721, or about 69 percent of its gross potential. Both shows are still in previews and due to officially open next week.

Among non-musicals, the biggest new box office titans are all star-driven vehicles: All the Way, with Bryan Cranston as LBJ, grossed a strong $893,167 for the week, nearly two-thirds of its maximum earnings, while the soon-to-open Of Mice and Men, featuring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, collected $796,078, or about 85 percent of its potential gross. The Realistic Joneses, a comedy starring Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, and Marisa Tomei, pulled in $518,159, about 71 percent of its potential. Another starry drama, The Cripple of Inishmaan, starring Daniel Radcliffe, earned a strong $155,234 from its first two preview performances.

Several of the season’s new productions are on the bubble. Some, like the musical revival Violet or the new dramas Casa Valentina and The Velocity of Autumn, are awaiting strong reviews from their official opening next week. Others are holding out for presents from the Tony nominating committee, which announces its finalists April 29. The new musicals The Bridges of Madison County, After Midnight, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and even Rocky could use the box office adrenalin shot that would come from ads touting multiple Tony nominations.

The top grossers of the week included a lot of familiar standbys from previous seasons: Wicked ($1.93 million); The Lion King ($1.91 million); The Book of Mormon ($1.59 million); and Kinky Boots ($1.42 million).

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