Broadway Grosses w/e 11/11/2018: The Play’s The Thing!

Box office grosses jumped 13% this week to $37M due to several shows adding previews and the introduction of the Bryan Cranston led, Network, which began previews at the Belasco and played to sold-out houses for two previews this week.

Meanwhile, two other plays, The Ferryman and The Lifespan of a Fact, are in the million dollar club or are close to it.

Most shows posted significant increases this week, bringing welcome relief from what seemed like a longer than usual slow fall sales period. As the season revs up and the Holidays approach, everyone will be competing for the influx of tourists.

You can find the rest of the figures below, courtesy of The Broadway League:

Show Name GrossGross  TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
ALADDIN $1,349,588.50 13,454 97.38% $100.31
AMERICAN SON $645,363.80 5,344 86.30% $120.76
ANASTASIA $760,696.60 7,820 85.52% $97.28
BEAUTIFUL $761,745.00 7,134 86.92% $106.78
BERNHARDT/HAMLET $422,323.30 4,849 82.35% $87.09
CHICAGO $744,131.70 8,241 95.38% $90.30
COME FROM AWAY $1,055,453.80 8,472 101.24% $124.58
DEAR EVAN HANSEN $1,523,099.08 7,998 101.60% $190.43
FROZEN $1,706,071.80 12,930 95.98% $131.95
HAMILTON $2,943,951.00 10,735 101.58% $274.24
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS ONE AND TWO $2,109,192.00 12,976 100.00% $162.55
HEAD OVER HEELS $233,983.50 3,471 45.05% $67.41
KING KONG $915,800.41 13,269 95.43% $69.02
KINKY BOOTS $799,296.95 8,740 76.72% $91.45
MEAN GIRLS $1,391,698.65 9,695 98.93% $143.55
MY FAIR LADY $1,142,786.00 8,077 94.45% $141.49
NETWORK $293,220.00 2,036 100.10% $144.02
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND $429,807.92 5,030 90.34% $85.45
PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL $1,156,664.70 8,679 92.88% $133.27
SCHOOL OF ROCK $836,075.40 9,556 78.43% $87.49
SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY $1,935,170.00 3,792 100.00% $510.33
SUMMER $686,515.00 7,335 62.37% $93.59
THE BAND’S VISIT $787,362.60 7,231 86.99% $108.89
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,175,355.50 8,705 103.93% $135.02
THE CHER SHOW $1,065,993.00 9,196 95.20% $115.92
THE FERRYMAN $1,001,994.90 7,315 89.73% $136.98
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT $966,411.30 7,378 91.86% $130.99
THE LION KING $2,082,461.00 13,539 99.79% $153.81
THE NAP $191,063.60 4,126 80.21% $46.31
THE NEW ONE $178,137.50 6,623 88.18% $26.90
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $922,340.82 10,343 80.55% $89.18
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG $326,463.50 5,146 75.32% $63.44
THE PROM $323,083.00 5,795 95.06% $55.75
THE WAVERLY GALLERY $491,941.50 5,426 86.18% $90.66
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD $1,130,163.00 10,078 100.19% $112.14
TORCH SONG $290,584.50 4,082 87.22% $71.19
WAITRESS $683,802.50 6,798 81.32% $100.59
WICKED $1,770,608.00 14,601 97.78% $121.27
TOTALS $37,230,401.33    306,015 89.70% $121.38
+/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON +$4,752,988.76      
PERCENTAGE +/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON +14.63%      

Today’s blog was guest-written by Ryan Conway, General Manager for DTE Management. Find out more here!

Episode 166 – Broadway Musical Director, Conductor and Musical Muse, Kristen Blodgette

Listen to about 15 seconds of this podcast, and you’ll hear a joy in Kristen Blodgette’s voice that tells you she’s doing exactly what she was meant to do.

Her love of music and interpreting music for composers, musicians and actors is so obvious, you can see why she got her first MD job having never MD’ed before (true story). And to watch her conduct a show is like watching LeBron James play basketball or Tiger Woods play golf. It’s a show unto itself.

It’s easy to understand why the world’s (!) best, including Andrew Lloyd Webber and Josh Groban want Kristen in their musical corner.

Kristen is the first MD we’ve had on the podcast, so I took this opportunity to learn more about the gig and her rise to the top, including . . .

  • Her definition of what a Musical Director does.
  • How she cold-called the Conductor of A Chorus Line at the theater, during the show, to try to get a meeting (and how it’s a shame that courage comes so easily when we’re young).
  • The craft of turning non-singers into singers.
  • What she thinks about the shrinking Broadway orchestras, including how Phantom has changed since it began.
  • Why she doesn’t write . . . and how that lack-of-desire has made her an even better MD.

Kristen could have been a classical pianist, and while she downplays how good she was as a player in this podcast, something tells me she could be quite the name in that world right now.

We’re so lucky she came into ours instead.

Click here for my podcast with Kirsten!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

My 5 Friday Finds:

Here are five things that got my head spinnin’ this week.

  1. Dinner Theater on Broadway.

The upcoming Bryan Cranston-led Network announced that it will offer an “exclusive onstage dining experience” prior to the show, allowing customers to eat on the stage as the show readies for that evening’s performance around them. Pretty cool. And pretty smart. They know their customers are eating before their show somewhere, so they just captured that business for themselves in a unique way. It’s the kind of “experience” people’s mouths are watering for.

  1. The last flight I took . . .

… had just as many first and business class seats as coach, proving there’s a serious demand for comfortable seats (the airlines are always first to recognize these trends). Will that desire make its way to the theater? Or will our customers start staying on their comfortable couch if we don’t improve the experience for their (the) butts that we want in our seats?

  1. Bat Out Of Hell is coming to NYC but not to a Broadway theater.

The growing phenomenon of a non-traditional musical, BOOH, announced that it would play 8 weeks in NYC this summer at City Center prior to its national tour. Then it announced that the tour was canceled. But City Center is still on, so you’ll get your chance to sing along to “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” don’t you worry. Tour cancellation aside, could the stint at City Center be the first sign of what happens when Broadway theaters are full and Producers want a show to play the city . . . (when) they don’t care about the cache (or Tony eligibility) and find another space?  Expect more alternative venues for shows with a brand that may not need Broadway to strengthen it.

  1. A quote to help you make your next decision.

Doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of Amazon or the Producer of a new musical or an emerging writer battling with a 2nd Act Problem, here’s a quote to guide you to the answer. “Ultimately the decision will be made with intuition after gathering and studying a lot of data — for a decision like that, as far as I know, the best way to make it is you collect as much data as you can, you immerse yourself in that data but then you make the decision with your heart.” – Jeff Bezos

  1. The elections are over.

Regardless of whether you’re (your) party won or lost, are (aren’t) we all just a little glad that is over?  I know businesses around the world are, including Broadway.

Hope your weekend is filled with productivity. I’ll be at my SuperConference with a bunch of passionate theater people looking to do great things, and a bunch of Tony Winners schooling us all with tips and tricks on how to do just that. Come!

Amazon is now a pain reliever. A lesson for Broadway and all businesses.

Every great company has a “thing” that puts them on the map or pushes them to a new height. Think the iPhone or The Sopranos or The Frappucino.

For Amazon.com it was free and fast shipping.

Jeff Bezos recognized that what consumers wanted was to get what they paid for fast . . . and free. He knew his competitors were just a short drive away from most of his customers, so he had to compete.

That’s why he introduced Amazon Prime, which now has 100 million members, makes Amazon a ton of $$$ and attracts and keeps customers.

And like a fancy new Apple product or a new drink from Starbucks, it took the company to another height when it was introduced years ago.

Amazon got beaten up this on the stock market this past week, on fears of a slower than usual holiday season (there are similar fears on Broadway, by the way).

So what did Bezos do?

He announced free shipping on all holiday orders. For everyone.

!!!

Now that’s a promotion.

Not just because it’s so “out of the box,” but because it’s so simple. The formula for a fantastic Bezos-like promotion goes something like this:

  1. Ask your customer what their “pain point” is.
  2. Relieve that pain.
  3. Get customer’s business and get them to like you in the process.

I can’t help but think about our customers’ pain points. And the one I hear the most often?

Ticket service fees.

I blogged about a Prime-like idea to get rid of service fees once before, but Bezos inspired me to talk about it again . . . but this time in a more in a focused way.

What if we waived service fees during our dark times of September or February?

What if a show offered no service fees as a one-off promotion?

What if you got free service fees if you ordered more than 4 tickets?

I don’t know.

But I do know that service fees are a pain point . . . and we could sell more tickets and gain more customer loyalty if we could do away with them every so often.

Maybe it could be our industry’s Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Do you have an idea on how to heal a pain point in our biz? Tell me in the comments below.

Broadway Grosses w/e 11/4/2018: Boo! Run!

Halloween and the NYC Marathon combine forces this week to take over the city. Despite many shows shifting their playing schedules to avoid the crowds, overall grosses slipped slightly by 1% to just above $33M. And that’s including two new shows on the boards.

Both To Kill A Mocking Bird and The Cher Show began previews this week and opened to strong box offices with full houses and ATPs clearing $120.

You can find the rest of the figures below, courtesy of The Broadway League:

Show Name GrossGross  TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
ALADDIN $1,258,572.00 13,216 95.66% $95.23
AMERICAN SON $421,752.00 4,999 80.73% $84.37
ANASTASIA $746,074.92 8,108 88.67% $92.02
BEAUTIFUL $666,168.69 7,237 88.17% $92.05
BERNHARDT/HAMLET $373,035.60 4,625 78.55% $80.66
CHICAGO $722,269.60 8,011 92.72% $90.16
COME FROM AWAY $1,023,781.40 8,492 101.48% $120.56
DEAR EVAN HANSEN $1,407,880.40 7,980 101.37% $176.43
FROZEN $1,299,258.90 12,353 91.69% $105.18
HAMILTON $2,824,675.00 10,734 101.57% $263.15
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS ONE AND TWO $2,054,953.00 12,976 100.00% $158.37
HEAD OVER HEELS $185,775.50 2,956 38.37% $62.85
KING KONG $674,934.25 9,906 94.99% $68.13
KINKY BOOTS $623,961.40 6,602 66.23% $94.51
MEAN GIRLS $1,246,467.35 9,509 97.03% $131.08
MY FAIR LADY $981,958.50 7,615 89.04% $128.95
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND $358,878.80 5,010 89.98% $71.63
PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL $1,065,416.00 8,766 93.81% $121.54
SCHOOL OF ROCK $663,759.00 7,998 65.64% $82.99
SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY $2,424,880.00 4,740 100.00% $511.58
SUMMER $569,903.00 6,463 54.96% $88.18
THE BAND’S VISIT $754,549.50 7,262 87.37% $103.90
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,100,964.50 8,614 102.84% $127.81
THE CHER SHOW $495,489.00 4,017 97.03% $123.35
THE FERRYMAN $919,930.00 7,691 94.34% $119.61
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT $884,145.10 6,713 83.58% $131.71
THE LION KING $2,090,669.00 13,537 99.77% $154.44
THE NAP $176,181.80 3,610 70.18% $48.80
THE NEW ONE $191,614.00 4,941 57.56% $38.78
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $930,637.40 10,906 84.94% $85.33
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG $226,490.50 3,959 57.95% $57.21
THE PROM $316,383.60 6,484 91.17% $48.79
THE WAVERLY GALLERY $451,689.00 5,445 86.48% $82.95
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD $520,357.32 4,321 100.23% $120.43
TORCH SONG $213,342.50 4,387 93.74% $48.63
WAITRESS $535,899.00 5,778 69.11% $92.75
WICKED $1,676,014.00 13,508 93.44% $124.08
TOTALS $33,078,711.53 279,469 85.96% $114.28
+/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON +$5,813,079.66      
PERCENTAGE +/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON 21.32%      

 

Today’s blog was guest-written by Ryan Conway, General Manager for DTE Management. Find out more here!

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