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Broadway Box Office: ‘Hamilton’ Spikes With New Pricing; ‘Sunset Boulevard’ Strong

Variety logo Variety 2/6/2017 Gordon Cox
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The Super Bowl is always a tough time at the Broadway box office — but you’d never know it to look at “Hamilton,” the megahit that saw sales spike as its new premium pricing took effect.

“Hamilton” ($3,214,897) jumped a whopping $750,000 compared to the previous week. That’s because the new pricing tiers the production announced late last year, including a new premium-price top of $849, went into effect, and it drove up the numbers about as much as you’d expect for what is still the hottest ticket on Broadway. The average price paid per ticket jumped about $70 to come in just below $300, and with no sign of the musical’s popularity yet diminishing, it seems likely that the $3 million week will become more and more common for the show.

Meanwhile, Glenn Close’s return to Norma Desmond elevated the numbers for the first week of previews for “Sunset Boulevard” ($833,694 for five previews). That’s a promising start for the revival, which seems likely to get a boost later this week when New York critics check out the show after the press went wild for her performance in London last year.

Despite the gains at “Hamilton” and the new money in the Broadway pot from the debut of “Sunset Boulevard,” it was still a down week for the Street overall, with the distractions of the Super Bowl putting a drain on both grosses and attendance. Overall sales slipped $1.2 million to $19.9 million for 21 shows now playing.

Nearly every individual production posted declines, but that was largely to be expected. The heftiest of the losses had clear explanations, with “Paramour” (down almost $275,000 to $662,145) played one fewer performance than usual and “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” ($948,196) suffering somewhat with headliner Josh Groban was out all weekend. Cate Blanchett play “The Present” ($766,201), “School of Rock” ($706,876) and “On Your Feet!” ($621,130) also were among the shows to log drops.

Besides “Hamilton” and “Sunset Boulevard,” the title that most successfully fought off the week’s doldrums was “Dear Evan Hansen” ($1,112,400), which upticked slightly even as most other shows dropped. The production’s continued resilience seems to solidify its status as the breakout hit musical of the 2016-17 season — at least until a new batch of shows opens in the spring.

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