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Box office records made as Broadway says goodbye to 2016

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/3/2017 By MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The year on Broadway came to an explosive and sparkly end for theater producers as many shows recorded their best weeks ever — and not just the fresh new offerings.

Virtually every one of the 33 shows that ended the week — and year — on Sunday had reason to pop Champagne, thanks to relatively mild weather, extra performances and premium pricing. The total haul was $49,531,578 — more than $19 million more than the previous week and $6 million more than the same time last year.

Some older Broadway shows roared into 2017 with brand new reasons to smile — "Jersey Boys" recorded $1,778,189 over nine performances, the best week in the show's Broadway history, while "Chicago" pulled in $1,248,473 over nine performances, the highest grossing week in the show's 20-year history.

Disney's "The Lion King," now in its mature 19th year on Broadway, showed some bite by earning over $3 million for the first time in a single week, albeit across nine shows.

Other shows that posted their best weeks included "Something Rotten!" ($1,478,302), "Paramour" ($1,908,018), "Matilda" ($1,902,366), "A Bronx Tale" ($1,293,145) and "Waitress" ($1,331,954).

The return of "The Illusionists" earned $2,397,106 over an exhausting 17 performances, a record for the Palace Theatre and the franchise's best week ever over the past three visits.

Twenty-four shows last week earned over $1 million, led by "Hamilton," ''The Lion King" and "Wicked," which each pulled in over $3 million. Attendance for the week was 357,995, or a robust 96 percent occupancy.

The new numbers came a week after Broadway box offices failed to break any records over the Christmas holiday, despite mild weather and eye-popping hauls by huge hits like "Hamilton." Revenues, attendance and the number of shows all dipped then.

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Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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