Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ratings Down, Box Office Up

Ratings Down, Box Office Up

Despite the fact that the Tony Awards broadcast attracted its lowest ratings ever -- only 6.24 million viewers tuned in, apparently getting whacked by the final episode of "The Sopranos" and elbowed by NBA finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers -- reports abound that Broadway shows featured during the Tonys have enjoyed a box office bounce.

Since the Tonys effectively serve as one giant commercial advert for Rialto offerings, particularly the showcased musicals, it should come as no surprise that Spring Awakening enjoyed an enormous box office surge of $1.25 million in tickets from the time the Tony telecast began through the end of yesterday. According to Playbill, that is up sharply from its typical $150,000 per day in box office sales. Additionally, the Tony-winning Best Musical had one of its best weeks just last week when it enjoyed a 92.4% capacity with a gross of $644,716.

Don't be surprised to see Spring Awakening's average ticket price -- last week at a respectable $80.06 -- soar. When I first saw the 8-time Tony winner earlier this year, I snagged a front-row seat for the relative bargain price of $110, but the show now offers premium seating going for $176.50 per ticket for most performances, although that price escalates to $201.50 for Friday and Saturday evenings.

At least two other shows featured during the Tonys -- Curtains and Grey Gardens, both of which copped major acting awards -- reported "higher than usual" box office figures yesterday, according to the same Playbill story.

Still no word yet on whether the Tonys provided any of the desperately needed lift to Best Revival of a Musical Company, which has been languishing below 50% in capacity since the week of April 16-22, even though its capacity increased last week to 47.9%.

Surely, one would think if Raúl Esparza's performance of "Being Alive" was well-received by the television audience, his Tony snub wouldn't deter anyone from seeking out a ticket to this worthy show, especially given its major win in the revival category. However, I've heard from some of you that you don't think his performance translated well on television. If Company's box office doesn't enjoy some sort of boost from the Tonys, the show will likely post closing notices sooner than later. What a shame that would be.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for Company tickets.
Click here for Curtains ticket information.
Click here for Grey Gardens ticket information.
Click here for Spring Awakening tickets.
Related Stories:
C'est Sheik! (June 10, 2007)
In The Company Of Underperforming Shows (March 27, 2007)

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At 12 June, 2007, Anonymous Esther said...

Luckily, I bought my tickets for Spring Awakening, Grey Gardens and Mary Poppins a couple days before the Tonys!

They're all such different shows in terms of music, but I have to say, I'm pretty excited by what I've seen so far from Spring Awakening. It just seems so energetic. Maybe it's the rock 'n' roll girl in me!

I was able to get the fourth row for Grey Gardens, but I'm about in the middle of the center orchestra for Spring Awakening. And I'm thinking either Spring Awakening's bounce started before the Tonys, or other people had the same idea I did, because I would have had a much better seat if I'd bought my ticket three or four days earlier!

I'm hoping Company holds on until the end of July! I really do want to see Raul Esparza.

At 12 June, 2007, Blogger SarahB said...

Rumors are that Company posted its closing for July 1st.

At 12 June, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Esther, To call Spring Awakening "energetic" would be an understatement!

Sarah, I'm not finding any corrobation on the July 1 closing notice, but appreciate the insider track you apparently have! I'll be sorry to see Company depart.

At 16 June, 2007, Blogger jungle dream pagoda said...

I was part of that bounce for Spring...,I played Wendla once (obviously in the original non-musical),and was ever-so curious myself. We bought before the telecast was over,right after we saw the honesty and brilliance that even a camera-man couldn't capture!

At 17 June, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

JDP - That's fascinating that you played Wendla. What kind of production was it?

I'll be curious to hear what you thought of the medley that was performed. As I was telling another friend of mine, the last tune incorporated into the medley is "Totally F***ed," although those unfamiliar with the show wouldn't have known that, other than that the cast members held their hands up against their mouths every time the F-Bomb was normally sung.


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