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Broadway Lights Brightened by Record Holiday Weekend

Broadway Streetl Broadway Lights Brightened by Record Holiday WeekendBroadway partied hard over the New Year’s weekend, racking up huge sales, with the once problem-plagued Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark scoring a whopping $2.9 million gross for nine shows, according to the producers and theater owners.

The Great White Way was almost as bountiful for a number of other shows. Broadway stalwart, The Phantom of the Opera, which has run continuously for nearly 25 years, also set a new box office record. It grossed $1.6 million for eight shows at the Majestic Theater, The Broadway League said.

In all, 18 of Broadway’s 34 shows earned more than $1 million each during the holiday period, which was helped by relatively mild weather, the group said today. That brought the total take to $37.7 million, compared with $35 million in ticket sales last year.

Producers were helped by higher ticket prices. Theatergoers paid an average $117 to see a show, compared with $106 last year at this time. Most shows were able to book nine performances this year instead of the usual eight, which also helped.

Broadway attractions

A strong Hollywood presence also helped draw theater goers, and shows with marquee Hollywood actors were big attractions.

Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe, who starred in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying along with John Lithgow set a record at the Al Hirschfeld Theater with $1.9 million.

Radcliffe will be replaced “Glee” television star Darren Criss. After his three-week run, Jonas Brothers Band member Nick Jonas will step into the role through July. Both stars should deliver for the show, which has now recouped all of its investment.

Broadway sets records

Hugh Jackman, star of the Wolverine and X-Men movies, also proved to be a major draw in his one-man show Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway.

The Australian actor’s show earned $2 million in its final week, the highest gross ever recorded by the Shubert Organization, which owns 17 Broadway theaters. Jackman pulled in $14.6 million over its 10-week run, producers said.

Perennial favorite, Wicked became the first Broadway production in history to be the top-grossing show of the year for eight consecutive years, according to The New York Times.





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