‘Merrily We Roll Along’, ‘Gutenberg! The Musical’, ‘Back To The Future’ Continue As Top Earning Newcomers – Broadway Box Office

Broadway box office held steady last week with total grosses for 28 shows tallying up to $28,106,860, with 224,832 ticket buyers paying an average $125.01 per seat.

A healthy chunk of those total numbers were contributed by such recent arrivals as Merrily We Roll Along (grossing, for its sold-out week ending Oct. 22, $1,820,753, another house record at the Hudson Theatre) and Gutenberg! The Musical, which had its best week to date with a take of $932,436 at the James Earl Jones, that despite significant post-opening press comps.

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(Gutenberg!, starring Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells, has been surprising audiences with special unbilled appearances near the end of each performance, secret cameos that might not contribute to box office but can’t hurt word of mouth enthusiasm: Following Nathan Lane’s appearance on opening night, the cameos last week included Ashley Park, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Stamos, Rory O’Malley, Christian Slater, Amber Ruffin and, in a stroke of some kinda genius, Steve Guttenberg, who briefly took the stage last Friday night.)

Merrily We Roll Along reported another significant number: Its average ticket price was $235.60, well above the total Broadway average of $125.01 and with runners-up Hamilton and Sweeney Todd trailing at, respectively, $168.37 and $166.03 (Hamilton‘s average ticket price was impacted by a bargain priced Wednesday student matinee on Oct. 18).

Some other notable numbers:

  • I Need That, starring Danny DeVito, took in $572,840 for seven previews at the American Airlines Theatre, with attendance at 93.2% of capacity;

  • Harmony, the Barry Manilow-Bruce Sussman musical, began previews at the Ethel Barrymore, filling 83% of seats for six performances and grossing $491,766. Opening night is Nov. 13;

  • Back to the Future filled 92% of seats at the Winter Garden, grossing $1,257,898;

  • Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, a production of the nonprofit subscription-based Manhattan Theatre Club, filled 98% at the Friedman, with a modest $69.44 average ticket tallying up to a gross of $348,453;

  • Here Lies Love filled 79% of seats at the Broadway, grossing $690,574.

Not all of the recent arrivals were coming anywhere near sell-out status, though. The Cottage starring Eric McCormack and Laura Bell Bundy, was at 75% of capacity and grossed $358,532. Melissa Etheridge: My Window filled only 57% of seats at Circle in the Square, grossing $231,628 for five performances; Purlie Victorious filled 63% of seats at the Music Box; and The Shark is Broken was at 61% of capacity at the Golden.

Topping the roster in grosses was, as usual, The Lion King, taking $2,063,215 at the Minskoff.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $625,894,563 – about 2% more than last year at this time – with total attendance of 5,131,476, about 7% more than last year.

All figures courtesy of The Broadway League. For complete box office listings, visit the League’s website.

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