Sunday, May 19, 2024

How to Kill a Mockingbird: Broadway Hit Tumbles at Box Office as Jeff Daniels Leaves, Ed Harris Arrives


Mock- yeah.

It’s Box Office Redux for producer Scott Rudin as Jeff Daniels has exited “To Kill a Mockingbird” on Broadway and the box office has taken a sudden, drastic drop.

Rudin went through this just previously when Bette Midler said goodbye to “Hello, Dolly!” and Bernadette Peters succeeded her. Like a heart monitor indicating arrest, the numbers went plummeting.

For the weeks building up to Daniels’ goodbye, “Mockingbird” was printing money, taking in over $2 million a week. That started right after Labor Day. But now that Harris is in, the show suffered a  week to week drop of over $300,000. The average ticket price fell from $192 to $168. The top price dropped from $708 to $497.

This is to say nothing about Ed Harris or the whole new cast because they’re probably just as good if not better than the original gang. But this is what happened to Bernadette Peters and her cast. Suddenly there were plenty of empty seats.

In the case of “Mockingbird” 2.0, by December 8th you can see the erosion in the expensive seats. There are plenty of good ones almost every night. That will go on as long as investors can take it. Then Rudin will announce Daniels’ return for a victory lap, tickets as high as $1000, and a closing. History loves repeating itself.


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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