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Broadway box offices rejoice this Thanksgiving
NEW YORK (AP) - Most Broadway shows had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving _ box offices jumped more than $6 million from the previous week and several records were broken.
The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, released data Monday that showed most shows roared back from a post-Superstorm Sandy listlessness, pulling in $27,019,880 for the week ending Sunday, far better than the $20,881,272 earned during the seven-day period before.
The perennial No. 1 show, "Wicked," was the biggest winner, generating the highest eight-performance week in Broadway history. It saw its gross rise $692,343 to finish the week at $2,290,819.
"Annie" set a house record at the Palace Theatre, grossing $1,499,197 and slipping past the old record held by the revival of "West Side Story" set in January 2010.
"The Book of Mormon" continued to top itself, earning a whopping $1,801,627 for the week, the 42nd time it has broken its own house record at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.
Disney also had reason to cheer. Its "Newsies" broke the record at the Nederlander Theatre with $1,106,383 and "The Lion King," which just celebrated its 15th year on Broadway, took in $2,125,561, a house record for an eight-show week at the Minskoff Theatre. "The Lion King" posted a massive increase of $723,493, more than several shows made all week.
It was all mostly welcome news for producers, who had watched helplessly as Superstorm Sandy closed theaters for several days and eventually cost them $8.5 million. But the latest numbers also show that despite the new gains, Broadway box offices still lag the $28,086,475 earned during Thanksgiving week last season.
Two holiday shows, "Elf" and a musical based on the holiday movie "A Christmas Story," logged nine performances over the week, one more than the average of eight, and both saw revenues jump. "Elf" scored $997,145 and "A Christmas Story" took in $1,104,312.
Musicals are always better draws than plays but several plays didn't see similar increases, despite having star power. "The Heiress," starring Jessica Chastain, lost $109,000 over the week, "Grace" with Paul Rudd pulled in only $320,199, or 34 percent of its potential revenue, and "Dead Accounts," the new Katie Holmes' play which has yet to open, scored only $402,460 from a potential of $1,008,461.
Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
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