Tony Award nominations shake up Broadway ticket sales
Gross ticket sales for the Great White Way were down 3.3 percent through the week ending May 6 with the sales for several productions taking a dramatic turn following 2012 Tony Award nominations.
According to figures posted by The Broadway League, Broadway gross ticket sales totaled $25.2 million compared to $26.1 million the previous week. Twenty-four shows had a decrease in sales while 15 saw an increase.
“There are small fluctuations in ticket sales all the time,” Amanda Pekoe, president of theatrical marketing and advertising company The Pekoe Group, told TicketNews via email. “With Tony nominations just announced, the playing field is changed somewhat with respect to ticket buying patterns. People may be waiting to buy tickets to the show they truly want to see, rather than buying tickets to their second or third choices.”
Such is the case with “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” which reached $1 million for the first time since opening in April and had a large increase in ticket sales, up 23.2 percent over the previous week. Ironically, the show had the greatest decrease in sales through the week ending April 29, with a decline of $109,194. According to Pekoe, the show’s 10 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, have helped to solidify it as a ticket that people want.
According to figures posted by Playbill.com, Broadway newcomer “Once” had the second biggest increase in sales in terms of dollar amount, earning $707,302, up 16 percent with an increase of $97,890. Another newbie, “The Columnist,” ($298,094) also had a successful week with sales up 30.9 percent over the previous week.
According to Pekoe, both of these shows have a lot going for them. “Once” scored 11 Tony Award nods including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Choreography. “Who wouldn’t want to see a musical with that many nominations in categories that spell out that you will have a wonderful evening at the theatre, ” said Pekoe to TicketNews. “The Columnist” star John Lithgow received a nomination for Best Performance of an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play.
While many shows made large gains, several productions had very significant losses. “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man” ($682,019) had the greatest decrease in sales of any production with a loss of $210,857 among eight performances. “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($367,605) had a decrease in sales of $108,372 from the previous week. Sales for “Magic/Bird” ($106,449) fell by $105,190, a significant loss for a show whose sales have yet to reach $200,000.
According to Pekoe, the announcement of Tony Award nominations has created a lot of competition in the market. While “End of the Rainbow” received nods for Best Performance and Best Sound Design, theatergoers are more interested in productions nominated in such categories as Best Play or shows that received several nominations.
Nominated for seven Tony awards, “Death of a Salesman” ($943,884) broke the house record at the Ethel Barrymore for the sixth time, according to Broadway.com. “The Book of Mormon” ($1.6 million) also broke their house record for the 33rd time and remains a top grossing show, despite not receiving any Tony Award nods.
Prior to the close of the week “Seminar” played its final performance after just over a six month run, according to Broadway.com. Although the show ended with the second lowest gross ticket sales ($150,035), the show ended on a high note with sales up 11.8 percent over the previous week.