Heading into its final week on Broadway, The Heiress is emerging as a surprising box office hit. Producers of the drama revival starring Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens announced that the show should recoup its investment before the final performance this Saturday. Ever since Chastain won the Golden Globe last month for Zero Dark Thirty, ticket sales have spiked. According to the Broadway League, the show had its best-ever grosses for the week ending Feb. 3: $673,973, a 11 percent gain from the previous week and 71 percent of the potential earnings for the Walter Kerr Theatre. (Perhaps Chastain should have her three-legged dog, Chaplin, make more impromptu cameos in the production to boost sales even more.)
The trend is decidedly different two blocks south at the new revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which received mixed reviews last month despite the presence of Scarlett Johansson as Maggie the Cat. Ticket sales fell 18 percent last week to $723,431, roughly 55 percent of the potential gross for the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Worse, the show played to houses just two-thirds full — a portent almost as ominous as the play’s third-act thunderstorm.
The top earners for the week were the usual suspects: The Book of Mormon ($1.64 million); Wicked ($1.42 million); The Lion King ($1.40 million); and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.01 million). The fifth spot was claimed by a newcomer that could have some real legs this spring to go along with its glass slippers: the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Cinderella, which earned $950,035 in its first full week of preview performances, nearly 69 percent of its potential gross. The production also filled nearly 97 percent of its seats, a good sign that there might be a happily-ever-after for producers once the show officially opens March 3.
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