Friday, June 02, 2006

Wicked Becomes Broadway's 8th Overall Cumulative Grosser Among Current Hits

Wicked Becomes Broadway's 8th Overall Cumulative Grosser Among Current Hits

Wicked continues to defy gravity -- and some of its original critics -- by now eclipsing Hairspray in total cumulative grosses to become Broadway’s 8th top grossing production currently performing. Not bad for a show that opened to mixed reviews 14 months after the celebrated Tony Award-winning Best Musical of 2002-03. What’s more, Wicked has now grossed over $100 million more than Avenue Q, the seemingly little musical that had the audacity to vigorously campaign for -- and win -- the Best Musical Tony right from under the more deserving (in my humble opinion) Joe Mantello-helmed story of the Witches from Oz.

The Phantom of the Opera, which is now Broadway’s longest running show ever, continues to lead the pack of top grossers by a very healthy margin of more than $155 million over second place The Lion King.

So how long will it be before Wicked catches #7 Rent?

The Wicked juggernaut is one of the few Broadway shows that consistently sells out every performance, which means a weekly audience for a gross of about $1,350,004 -- all in all, a pretty remarkable achievement given that Wicked’s home is the mammoth 1809-seat Gershwin Theatre, Broadway’s largest. Additionally, since Wicked is such a tough ticket to come by, it’s no surprise that last week’s average ticket price for the musical was $93.28.

Rent, on the other hand, took in a mere $455,106 last week with a total audience of just 7,835. Rent’s average ticket price is also significantly lower than Wicked’s at only $58.09. If those numbers were to continue at the same pace, it would take Wicked another 44 weeks simply to match Rent’s current cumulative grosses and approximately another 23 to surpass the 10 year old musical as both would have taken in roughly $256 million. My guess is that Rent’s weekly grosses will continue to decline, enabling Wicked to leap to the #7 position sometime about one year from now.

Additionally, Spamalot has now knocked Avenue Q out of the top ten. Keep your eye on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which could overtake Avenue Q sometime in 2007.

Here is the current list of box office champs, including their cumulative grosses, opening nights, total performances since May 28, 2006 and the total capacity of their current home theatres:

#1 The Phantom of the Opera -- $612,009,225.03 (Opening Night: January 26, 1988; Total Performances: 7645. Majestic Theatre has total capacity of 1607)
#2 The Lion King -- $455,219,895.94 (Opening Night: November 13, 1997; Total Performances: 3563. New Amsterdam Theatre has total capacity of 1801)
#3 Beauty and the Beast -- $385,084,029.00 (Opening Night: April 18, 1994; Total Performances: 4972. Lunt-Fontanne Theatre has total capacity of 1509)
#4 Chicago -- $270,050,996.30 (Opening Night: November 14, 1996; Total Performances: 3971. Ambassador Theatre has total capacity of 1080)
#5 The Producers -- $261,735,338.00 (Opening Night: April 19, 2001; Total Performances: 2126. St. James Theatre has total capacity of 1706)
#6 Mamma Mia! -- $230,544,769.56 (Opening Night: October 18, 2001; Total Performances: 1918. Cadillac Winter Garden Theatre has total capacity of 1498)
#7 Rent -- $226,672,392.93 (Opening Night: April 29, 1996; Total Performances: 4193. Nederlander Theatre has total capacity of 1181)
#8 Wicked -- $166,374,168.00 (Opening Night: October 30, 2003; Total Performances: 1076. Gershwin Theatre has total capacity of 1809)
#9 Hairspray -- $166,024,354.00 (Opening Night: August 15, 2002; Total Performances: 1576. Neil Simon Theatre has total capacity of 1428)
#10 Spamalot -- $66,252,571.94 (Opening Night: March 17, 2005; Total Performances: 501. Sam S. Shubert Theatre has total capacity of 1441)
#11 Avenue Q -- $64,306,089.21 (Opening Night: July 31, 2003; Total Performances: 1180. Golden Theatre has total capacity of 796)
#12 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels -- $49,394,226.65 (Opening Night: March 3, 2005; Total Performances: 515. Imperial Theatre has total capacity of 1435)

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Related Stories:
Butz and Pryce Flee the Scene on July 16 (June 5, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2004-05 (May 26, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2003-04 (May 25, 2006)
Lucie Arnaz Plays Omaha Chic in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (May 23, 2006)
Approaching One Year, Chicago's Wicked Continues to Captivate (May 23, 2006)
Wicked's West End Witches Update (May 17, 2006)
Ann Harada to Reprise Avenue Q Role in London (May 8, 2006)
Worldwide Wicked Casting News (May 5, 2006)
Encore: Spotlight Week Ending April 30, 2006 (April 30, 2006)

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