Broadway box office: 'Bring It On' musical could use a bigger cheering section
In its second full week since opening, Broadway’s new screen-to-stage musical Bring It On had a modest 7 percent bump in ticket sales, to $508,000. That’s just 42 percent of the show’s potential gross in the St. James Theatre for the week ending Aug. 19, according to figures from the Broadway League. Despite generally favorable reviews for the loose adaptation of the 2000 teen cheerleading comedy, the new tuner has yet to really catch fire with theatergoers this summer. Though producers recently extended the show’s run until Jan. 20, 2013, the soft box office returns may spell trouble as we head into the fall months (when there are generally fewer tourists in New York City). As it is, Bring It On is relying on heavy discounting to fill its seats. Though the St. James was 77 percent full last week, the show had the cheapest average ticket price of any Broadway production: $61.89.
By way of comparison, you could get three Bring It On tickets for the price of a single seat at The Book of Mormon, the 2011 Tony-winning hit that again broke a house record last week with a $1.65 million gross. That’s 132 percent of the potential gross at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, a feat that’s achievable because of premium ticket-pricing that elevated the average cost of a seat to a whopping $188.65. The irreverent musical also broke records at Denver’s Ellie Caulkins Opera House, where the show’s first national tour kicked off last week. (Co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are Colorado natives.)
In addition to Mormon, six other shows topped $1 million in grosses last week: The Lion King ($1.96 million); Wicked ($1.8 million); Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.5 million); Evita ($1.04 million); Once ($1.03 million); and Newsies ($1.0 million). Overall, Broadway productions took in $20.86 million for the week, a modest 3.7 percent dip from the same week in 2011.