Lin-Manuel Miranda Co-Creation ‘Freestyle Love Supreme’ Hits Beat Of $609K; Broadway B.O. Steady At $30M

Breaking News, Broadway, Broadway Box Office, Film News, Freestyle Love Supreme, News, Slave Play, The Great Society, The Inheritance, Theater

Broadway tiptoed another step into the fall season last week, with a hefty batch of newcomers mostly toting less than hefty bags of box office receipts. Total box office for all Broadway productions were up a wispy 2% over the previous week, tallying $29,894,777.

Total attendance was 260,498, just 2% more than the previous week despite reflecting a larger-by-one, 33-show roster.

Departing the boards was Sea Wall/A Life, the limited-engagement critically praised pair of solo one-acts starring Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal. The production grossed a solid $854,678 in its final week at the Hudson Theater, about 84% of potential with 97% of seats filled.

As for the newcomers, the most recent of the recent arrivals is The Inheritance, Matthew Lopez’s Olivier Award-winning two-part London smash that re-envisions E. M. Forster’s Howards End in modern-day New York with three generations of gay men. Week 1 saw only two previews performed, and both were for Part 1, which might have discouraged ticket-buyers hoping to see the two parts within the same week. They’ll get their chance starting next week, but if you don’t mind a week’s gap, now’s the time to get started: Last week average tickets were selling for a modest $78 for a similarly modest $116,397 total (about 42% of potential), with 71% of seats filling up at the Ethel Barrymore. Opening night is November 17.

Among the more than a half-dozen other new productions, fewer than a few got off to especially sturdy starts. Among the few was Freestyle Love Supreme — the blend of hip-hop, freestyle rhymes, improvisational comedy and audience participation created in 2004 by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale — boasted an average ticket price of about $115 at the Booth Theatre. With press comps no doubt toying with the bottom line, total receipts last week were $609,022, about 65% of potential. Opening night is Wednesday.

Also opening this week – and so handing out press freebies last week – is The Great Society at non-prof, subscription-heavy Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater. The $411,488 gross was 35% of the show’s full-price potential, with 73% of seats filled. Opening night for the LBJ play starring Brian Cox is Tuesday.

Rounding out the roster of previewing shows was Slave Play at the Golden; Linda Vista at the Hayes; The Rose Tattoo at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre; The Lightning Thief at the Longacre; and The Sound Inside at Studio 54. Only The Rose Tattoo, starring Marisa Tomei and opening October 15, ventured significantly above the 50% point of box office potential, with the sub-heavy audiences dishing out $402,652 to reach 61% of potential gross.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $579,621,475, down about 8% year to year. Total attendance to date is 4,818,780, off about 2% from last season at this time.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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