Broadway producers love the Tony Awards because it gives a rare national platform for their shows, typically boosting ticket sales for musicals that make the most of their televised production number. And what lucky show got the biggest boost from the June 8 broadcast? Surprise! It wasn’t a musical but the LBJ bio-drama All the Way, which won Best Play and Best Actor for Bryan Cranston (above). In the post-Tony week ending June 15, box office climbed 30 percent to a Texas-size $1.23 million, according to figures from the Broadway League.
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, a play with music that earned Audra McDonald a record sixth Tony, also basked in the awards afterglow. Box office climbed 19 percent last week to $457,174, an impressive 87 percent of the potential gross in the intimate Circle in the Square Theatre. And Best Revival winner A Raisin in the Sun saw a 5 percent bump to $1.29 million — an impressive haul for a non-musical on Broadway.
Among new tuners, the biggest gain was another surprise: Rocky, which punched up sales by 23 percent to $761,451 despite taking home only one Tony, for Best Scenic Design for a Musical. (Still, the musical’s brief on-air clip of the boxing-match finale, set to “Eye of the Tiger,” apparently did the trick for ticketbuyers.) A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which took home four Tonys, including Best Musical, saw a 16 percent increase in sales to $851,262. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the Tony-winning revival already playing to sellout audiences thanks to Best Actor in a Musical winner Neil Patrick Harris, kicked up another 4.7 percent, to $1.07 million.
After Midnight, which just announced plans to close on June 29, climbed 10 percent to $567,578. Other new musical productions saw only modest gains at the box office: Bullets Over Broadway ($773,110, up 5 percent); the Les Misérables revival ($1.04 million, up 5 percent); Aladdin (1.33 million, up 4 percent); and Beautiful — The Carole King Musical ($1.17 million, up 2 percent). The latter three were already doing strong business so there was less urgency for a Tony boost.
But some new shows actually saw a drop in sales in the post-Tony week: Despite a roof-rattling number from Idina Menzel on the CBS broadcast, If/Then grosses fell nearly 3 percent to $802,082. Also seeing box office slippage were the Roundabout-produced musical revivals Cabaret ($731,192, down 4 percent) and Violet ($342,638, down 9 percent). There was also a steep decline for the Daniel Radcliffe-led revival The Cripple of Inishmaan ($515,389, down 6 percent) and Best Play also-rans Mothers and Sons ($156,116, down 21 percent and closing this Sunday), Act One ($370,426, down 16 percent), and Casa Valentina ($256,272, down 2 percent).
Overall, box office on the Main Stem was up 5 percent over the pre-Tony week, and the number of shows in the Million Dollar Club in weekly grosses climbed to 11. The top grossers were The Lion King ($2.04 million); Wicked ($1.97 million); The Book of Mormon ($1.60 million); Kinky Boots ($1.37 million); and Aladdin ($1.33 million).