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.