January is typically a slow period on Broadway, given the seasonal dip in post-holiday tourism, but shows headlined by Hollywood starlets are bucking the trend this year. In its first full week since its Jan. 17 opening, the Scarlett Johansson-led revival Cat on a Hot Tin Roof clawed in $886,531 for the week ending Jan. 27, according to the Broadway League. That’s a modest 5 percent dip from the show’s premiere week and represents a strong 67 percent of the potential gross for the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Since reviews for Rob Ashford’s production were generally mixed, the popularity of the 28-year-old Avengers star (and improbable doppelganger for a young Christopher Walken) will be a big factor in the revival’s fortunes during its limited run through March 30.
Meanwhile, the recent Golden Globe win for Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain has proven to be a sudden box office bonanza for the actress’ Broadway debut, The Heiress. The drama revival, which opened last November and will end its limited run Feb. 9, grossed $604,765 last week, a nearly 36 percent jump from its total two weeks ago and two-thirds of the potential haul for the venue. (Of course, it probably doesn’t hurt that her costar Dan Stevens is back in the public eye with the return of Downton Abbey on PBS.)
And there’s another female-driven newcomer that has the makings of a winter hit: Cinderella, a 1957 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical written for TV and hitting Broadway for the first time, danced away with $458,652 for its first three preview performances, a remarkable 83 percent of its gross potential. The production, which stars Tony nominee Laura Osnes (Bonnie and Clyde) and officially opens March 3, doesn’t look like it will need to be calling a fairy godmother anytime soon.
Overall, Broadway shows took in nearly $17.2 million last week, a 12 percent dip from the previous week due in part to the closing of three shows (including the Al Pacino-topped hit Glengarry Glen Ross) and the cancellation of Barry Manilow’s Broadway concert series due to the star’s bout of bronchitis.
Once again, The Book of Mormon led the week’s box office derby with $1.6 million. And five more musicals topped the seven-figure mark: The Lion King ($1.52 million); Wicked ($1.49 million); Evita ($1.10 million); Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.09 million); and Annie ($1.03 million). Curiously, The Phantom of the Opera – which celebrated its 25th anniversary on Broadway on Saturday – saw its ticket sales plummet 20 percent from the previous week, to $572,561, a chandelier-steep drop.
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