Movies

‘Funny Girl’ Attendance Drops To 65% Of Capacity In Week Leading Up To Lea Michele Announcement; Ticket Prices Surge For Her Debut

News of Lea Michele’s upcoming arrival in Broadway’s Funny Girl will certainly hand the musical a revival in advance ticket sales, welcome news for producers who saw last week’s box office continue its recent downward pivot. The musical, currently starring Beanie Feldstein (who has missed some recent performances) played to houses only 65% full during the week ending July 10.

That number compares to the previous week’s 75% , and the box office grosses tell a similar story: For the week ending July 10, Funny Girl grossed $708,862, a $34,351 drop from the previous week’s $743,213 (which itself was considerable dive from the week prior, when the show took in $1,071,618. At its peak earlier this spring, the musical was routinely grossing in the $1.3 million range.)

Feldstein announced Sunday night that she’d be leaving the show two months early, with July 31 her final date. Michele takes over the role of Fanny Brice on Sept. 6, with standby Julie Benko filling in until then.

Although the show’s producers are not commenting on box office, and have not released advance ticket sales figures, prices on ticket site SeatGeek for Michele’s Sept. 6 debut are currently maxing out at a whopping $2,500, a huge increase over current prices in the $250-$300 range. Cheapest seat available for Michele’s first night are $500.

But Funny Girl was far from the only Broadway show to wilt a bit in the summer heat. Sixteen of Broadway’s 29 productions reported box office slides for the week ending July 10, including, among the more notable, Wicked (down $230,546 to $1,595,480 and A Strange Loop (down $73,915 to $780,492).

On a more serious spiral, Paradise Square, which recently posted an early closing notice of July 17 due to weak box office, played to only 48% of attendance capacity last week, grossing a small $266,926. POTUS, meanwhile, was at 44% of capacity, grossing $391,773. The Minutes took in $197,795 at 56% of capacity.

On a more positive note, the newly arrived Into The Woods revival is an unqualified hit at the St. James Theatre, taking in a big $1,448,303 (and that’s with press and opening night comps) and filling 94% of seats.

All three of the productions playing their final performances during the week posted upturns, with Macbeth gaining $154,210 over the previous week to land at $882,382 and 98% of capacity; American Buffalo jumping $132,592 to $556,976 (87%); and the smash Plaza Suite going out to full houses and a $1,430,342 gross.

New musical The Kite Runner, playing six previews at the Helen Hayes Theatre, played to a solid 83% of capacity, grossing $266,612 with a $92.70 average ticket price.

In all, the 29 Broadway productions grossed a total $30,109,850. Season to date, Broadway has grossed $214,840,493, with total attendance of 1,663,414 at about 84% of capacity.

The 29 productions reporting figures on Broadway last week were Aladdin, American Buffalo, Beetlejuice, The Book of Mormon, Chicago, Come From Away, Company, Dear Evan Hansen, Funny Girl, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Into The Woods, The Kite Runner, The Lion King, Macbeth, MJ, The Minutes, Moulin Rouge!, Mr. Saturday Night, The Music Man, Paradise Square, The Phantom of the Opera, Plaza Suite, POTUS, Six, A Strange Loop, Tina and Wicked.

All figures courtesy of the Broadway League.

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