Thursday, May 30, 2024

Broadway: April is a Cruel Month with Declining Receipts and “Margaritaville” Headed for the Drink


April has not been a great month for Broadway, which announces the Tony nominees tomorrow morning.

After increases since the end of February, the box office has been in decline steadily all month. The week that just ended had a total of $35 million, down from $42.5 million the week ending April 8th. That’s not good because new shows are opening and there are more good choices– and positively reviewed shows– than ever.

The one show that all the critics hated was Jimmy Buffet’s “Escape to Margaritaville.” Is it to or from? No one’s going. Parked in the cavernous Marriott Marquis, the Parrothead party only partly fills the space. Last week, producers only took in $626,378.50. Their total possible take was $1,752,864.00. Without Tony attention, they will soon have to batten down the ship.

The biggest drop last week was most curious: “Hamilton.” Even though this powerhouse flirts with $3 million weeks, they were off last week by $258,398.00. “Wicked” took a big drop last week, and even “Frozen,” which is new and supposedly hot, was off.

The big defense for a drop in ticket sales is usually, well, Tony voters came, or the show had one less performance last week. There’s always a good rationale. But none of those things apply here. So, who knows? But tomorrow morning will change a lot of fortunes. Wait for Tony noms at 8:30am right here.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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