Broadway Box Office: Andrew Rannells still packs them in for 'Hedwig'
Neil Patrick Harris may have hung up his five-inch pumps, but audiences are still lining up for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. According to figures from the Broadway League, the Tony-winning musical revival took in $648,738 for the week ending Aug. 24—the first with Book of Mormon alum Andrew Rannells in the cross-dressing title role. While that’s a steep drop from NPH’s final week, when the show grossed a whopping $1.14 million, it still represents an enviable 82 percent of the potential earnings for the 1,007-seat Belasco Theatre. (Harris’ star power enabled producers to sell many more “premium” tickets for well above the average price.)
Broadway’s other new production, a revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s ’90s drama This Is Our Youth starring Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin, took home a decent $365,614 from its first seven preview performances. That’s about 58 percent of the maximum potential gross, and represents a good start for a show that will officially open Sept. 11.
As the summer tourist season winds down, a number of shows are calling it quits. (In recent weeks, the musicals Violet and Rocky threw in the towel.) Bullets Over Broadway, a $14 million flop based on Woody Allen’s 1994 movie, ended its run on Sunday much as it began: unspectacularly. It grossed $630,257 for its final week, roughly 41 percent of its potential earnings. In fact, not once did its weekly grosses hit seven figures—despite playing in a theater capable of bringing in $1.5 million each week. On the other end of the profitability spectrum, Disney’s surprise smash Newsies concluded a nearly two-and-a-half-year Broadway run with a $878,556 haul—bringing its total revenues to $109 million. Not bad for an underdog show based on a cult movie musical that notoriously flopped in cineplexes.
Overall, Broadway box office was down nearly 7 percent from last week, to $22.8 million spread among 25 productions. That’s still an increase from a year ago, however, when 24 shows mustered just $20.6 million among them. Last week’s top earners were led by three long-running hits: The Lion King ($1.96 million); Wicked ($1.80 million); The Book of Mormon ($1.61 million); Aladdin ($1.51 million); and Beautiful ($1.28 million).