There are a small handful of proven box office draws on Broadway: Hugh Jackman, Al Pacino, green-faced witches. Now we can add a new name: Tom Hanks. The two-time Oscar winner’s Broadway debut, Lucky Guy, raked in an astonishing $1.1 million for its first full week of previews ending March 10, according to figures from the Broadway League. It’s rare for a nonmusical to top $1 million in weekly grosses, but the late Nora Ephron’s play (starring Hanks as another departed New York legend, tabloid columnist Mike McAlary) managed to earn 112 percent of the potential gross for the Broadhurst Theatre. Thanks to demand-driven premium pricing, the average ticket climbed to $134.41 – second only to Broadway’s priciest get, The Book of Mormon (average price: $188.57). Lucky Guy, which may become an even hotter ticket after its official opening April 1, is currently selling tickets for performances through June 16.
Slipping in just behind Lucky Guy on the box office charts was Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The updated musical also grossed $1.1 million in the first full week since its March 3 opening, nearly 80 percent of the potential earnings at the Broadway Theatre. The show, starring Laura Osnes and the eye-catching costumes of William Ivey Long, is sizing up to be a solid glass-slippered hit. Four other shows again returned to the million-dollar club: Wicked ($1.66 million), The Book of Mormon ($1.65 million), The Lion King ($1.57 million), and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.02 million).
Meanwhile, two new musicals both had solid openings in their first week of previews. Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl children’s classic, conjured $634,789 for six performances, roughly 72 percent of its potential gross. And Kinky Boots, with a score by pop star Cyndi Lauper, kicked up $637,690 for eight shows, or 51 percent of its potential earnings. The outlook is hazier for the oddball documentary-inspired tuner Hands on a Hardbody, which will need stellar reviews after its opening next Thursday to cling to life. Last week Hardbody earned just $170,194, or 17 percent of its potential earnings. The season’s final new musical, Motown, begins performances tonight.
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