Broadway had a merry Christmas week, and a not-so-happy New Year, but even with the plunge in attendance last week, the so-called Fabulous Invalid looks in robust health.
According to Kylie Robertson of the League of American Theatres and Producers, more than seven million tickets have been collected by now, the 32nd week of the Broadway season. That is nearly 10% more than last year at this time. The increase in money is even more significant: Broadway grosses are up more than 18% from last seasons $346,555,133 to $407,659,804.
The increases come despite a significant cooling in demand for tickets in the first few days of 2001. Less than $12.4 million was collected in the week of Jan. 2-8, down from the nearly $19.5 million collected the week before.
Some of that drop can be attributed to altered performance schedules that resulted in several shows reporting the take from nine performances in the week between Christmas and New Years Day; some of those same shows reported the take from only seven performances last week.
Statistically, any show that dropped to seven performances from nine could expect revenue to fall about 23%. The drop in grosses from last week to this was more than 36%, so other factors were obviously involved. Two showsGore Vidals The Best Man and Jekyll & Hydeclosed in the last week, which also accounted for some of the reduction in revenue.
The rest of the drop is mostly attributable to fewer tourists in town after the holiday season. Historically, this has always been a difficult time for Broadway producers.