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Post-Irene Broadway Box Office Numbers Not Pretty

06:31 AM Tuesday 8/30/11 | |

New York may have been spared the worst of Hurricane Irene’s wrath, but Broadway took a bath.

After the approaching hurricane prompted producers to cancel matinee and evening performances on Saturday and Sunday, every show lost money because they were mostly limited to five or six performances.

According to numbers released Monday by The Broadway League, one of the hardest hit shows was “Billy Elliot: The Musical,” which was only able to put on four performances last week. When its four weekend shows were rained out, it made only $358,485. The week before it pulled in $731,895 over its normal eight-show week.

The biggest casualties of Irene were “The Lion King,” which dropped almost $710,000 from the week before, and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” which had revenues fall by about $634,000. Both could offer only five performances.

But both those shows also were the top earners for the storm-shortened week. Revenues for “The Lion King,” ‘‘Spider-Man” and “Wicked” were near the $1 million mark.

  • Before Irene

    Pedestrians on Broadway pass boarded-up store windows in the hours before Hurricane Irene's arrival in New York.
    August 27, 2011

    (AP Photo)


The least hurt shows were “Master Class,” with Tyne Daly, which lost only $106,000 from the previous week, and “Hair,” which saw receipts dip $145,000.

Total attendance for the week was also naturally lower, with 130,853 people attending all 23 musicals and plays versus last week’s total of 217,661.

Overall, the total box office gross for the week ending Sunday was a meek $11,622,879, compared to last week’s robust $20,079,820. Even so, the total haul so far this season is still ahead of last season at this stage.