As the slow summer attrition of the Broadway slate continues, the musical adaptation of "Rocky" hit the mat with a final box office bump -- but only a relatively modest one, in keeping with the production's ongoing struggle to attract blockbuster crowds.
Sales at "Rocky" ($870,165) climbed about 10% last week compared to the prior sesh, and the overall week's attendance barely upticked at all (to 10,355). The B.O. tally was the second highest of the show's run, following a million-plus week during the spring break season, but it still represented only a middling sum for a big-budget musical hoping to power through to recoupment.
Opening in the midst of a rush of spring musical openings, "Rocky" aimed high but ended up overshadowed -- at the box office by "Aladdin" ($1,497,976) and "Beautiful" ($1,301,425), and with critics by "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" ($920,946).
Meanwhile, Neil Patrick Harris' final week in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" ($1,139,903) didn't yield a major bump, but that's because the tuner didn't have much farther to go, given the show's already sky-high sales and its small-for-Broadway venue. It still managed to set a new house record at the Belasco Theater; now the question is how much of a draw Andrew Ranells, who follows Harris into the lead role Aug. 20, will prove during his own limited engagement in the rock musical.
"Rocky" isn't the only Broadway production on its way out the door. "Bullets Over Broadway" (down at bit to $635,965) will close Sunday but has yet to see an increase at the box office, whereas "Newsies" ($966,603), also closing Aug. 24, inched closer to the $1 million mark as auds turned out to catch the show before it shutters.
Otherwise, Broadway remained about on par with the previous week, with the biggest rise logged at "The Book of Mormon" ($1,759,420 for nine) thanks to the addition of an extra ninth performance to take advantage of high summertime demand. ("Wicked" also played nine last week, ringing in $2,026,702.) "Gentleman's Guide" climbed as well, following a frame hobbled a bit by the week-long absence of topliner Jefferson Mays.
The week's Broadway cume slipped just $750,000 to $25.2 million for 25 shows on the boards. Attendance downticked slightly to 230,964, but average price paid per ticket remained at $109, indicating steady overall demand.
With the end of summer comes the end of Broadway's hot-weather tourist season, but this year the fall slate gets an unusually early start with "This Is Our Youth," which kicks off previews tonight in a production that stars Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin.
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