Wednesday, October 7th5.7°C

Led by classic revivals, Broadway's box office and attendance figures both up this season

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Broadway's revenue and attendance figures were both up this season, largely fueled by classics from Harold Pinter and William Shakespeare rather than brash, new musicals.

The Broadway League said Tuesday that box offices reported a record total gross of $1.27 billion — up from $1.13 billion from the previous season. The trade association for theatre owners, operators and producers said attendance was up 5.6 per cent to 12.2 million.

New musicals — "After Midnight," ''Rocky," ''If/Then," ''A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," ''Bullets Over Broadway" and "Violet" — mostly recorded fine but not spectacular business.

A few flopped — "Big Fish" and "The Bridges of Madison County" — and a few have soared, like Neil Patrick Harris in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Pushing the overall numbers higher were first-rate play revivals, including a double bill of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and "Richard III." They recouped their $3.1 million capitalization costs, despite putting aside 250 seats at every performance for just $25.

A revival of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal," starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall, wrapped up its 14-week engagement with a stunning cumulative gross of just over $17.5 million. It set a record for best single week for a play ever on Broadway.

Another revival — Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," starring Zachary Quinto and Cherry Jones — recouped its $2.6 million investment, while a double bill of Pinter's "No Man's Land" and Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, left after 23 weeks with a $14.3 million haul. A revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" with Denzel Washington has been a sure thing, with the Ethel Barrymore Theatre packed each time and making over $1 million a week.

The two-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance, nominated twice this year, said he is heartened by the draw for his Shakespeare plays. They were performed by an all-male cast and sought to replicate how the plays were produced in Shakespeare's day, including with live musicians and low-tech candlelight.

"My view is that people are increasingly enabled by technology but also rather isolated by it — isolated from visceral experiences," he said. "Being in a room with Viola or with Richard III or with any of those characters as they go through real experiences and real emotions — that beats watching it on the screen every time."

The numbers were boosted by steadily increasing ticket prices, high demand from tourists swelling Times Square, reconfigured seating in some theatres and the use of premium-priced seating, in which some tickets are snapped up for very high amounts.

The numbers are an improvement on last season's decline in box office take and a 6 per cent dip on the number of ticket buyers, both blamed on Hurricane Sandy. The storm darkened Broadway for four days and cost more than $8.5 million in lost revenue.

This year, producers had to contend with a savage winter and the promise of Super Bowl crowds that never materialized.


Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at



The Canadian Press

Read more Business News

Recent Trending

Today's Market
S&P TSX13647.26+95.06
S&P CDNX538.69+8.78
S&P 5001979.92-7.13
CDN Dollar0.7696+0.0024
Natural Gas2.464-0.006

Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.21-0.01
QHR Technologies Inc1.25+0.03
Metalex Ventures0.05-0.01
Russel Metals23.31+0.80
Copper Mountain Mining0.56+0.06
Colorado Resources0.07-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0031-0.0009
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.085-0.010
Decisive Dividend Corp3.06-0.43
Diamcor Mining0.90+0.00



24282594831 Dillon Place
4 bedrooms 3 baths
more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading

Perfect (reno'd) home

Photo: Thinkstock.comHow many times have you found a home in the perfect location, but it needs too much work as per the home inspection? There is a great program available through most lenders that w...

Living beyond 100

Photo: ContributedThere was a time most careers involved an apprenticeship of one sort another. Some official, others involving years of servitude, and others time simply spent watching and emulating ...

5 Claim misconceptions

Photo: Thinkstock.comIf you have been hurt in an accident or as a result of medical negligence you will likely look to your friends and family for some advice on how to deal with the situation. These ...



Member of BC Press Council