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Broadway box office slides on the heels of ‘Phantom’ closing and its highest-grossing week

Broadway's box office struggled last week, with grosses falling by 17% and attendance dipping by 3%.

Emilie Kouatchou and Ben Crawford in “The Phantom of the Opera” (Credit: Matthew Murphy)

For the first time in 35 years, “The Phantom of the Opera” did not contribute to the overall Broadway box office. The history-making musical shuttered on April 16 after its highest-grossing week in history, earning more than $3.7 million.

It was announced on Sept. 16, 2022, that “Phantom” would close — though it wound up being extended past the initial closure date of Feb. 18. Since that September announcement, “Phantom” consistently grossed at least $1 million per week — which was a contrast to the fluctuating earnings in the months leading up to the closing notice, including a 2022 low of $417,971 for the week ending Jan. 30. During its final 16 weeks, “Phantom” did not gross less than $2 million and was typically among the top-three highest-grossing shows each week.

Now, the Broadway box office is feeling that loss. For the week ending April 23, the 33 productions running earned $31,558,171, a staggering 17% decrease from the previous week. Overall capacity was down 3% to 87%.

“The Lion King,” “Hamilton” and “Sweeney Todd” were the three top-grossing productions. Only 12 shows played to 95% capacity or greater, compared to 17 that achieved that feat during the previous week. Meanwhile, four productions played to less than 70% capacity, two of which had houses that were under 60% full.

After reverting to its normally scheduled eight performances following a nine-show schedule last week, “The Lion King” saw a box-office decrease of 23%. The Disney musical earned $2,165,365 and played to 94% capacity, down 3%.

Celebrating five years on Broadway, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” held a $5 lottery for its April 21 performance and hosted a special show on April 22. The play grossed $1,247,261, a 25% decrease (likely attributed to the lottery and comps), and played to 83% capacity, down 15%.

“Bob Fosse’s Dancin’” saw a 23% decrease last week, earning $456,343 in its lowest-grossing week post-opening night. The production played to just 57% capacity, also down 23%.

“Leopoldstadt” also played to houses under 60% full for a second straight week. The play did, however, see a 5% increase at the box office, earning $482,664.

“Good Night, Oscar,” “Summer, 1976” and “New York, New York” remained in previews. “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” opened at the Barrymore Theatre on April 19. “The Thanksgiving Play” opened at the Hayes Theatre on April 20. “Prima Facie” opened at the Golden Theatre on April 23.

For a complete look at this week’s Broadway grosses, visit Broadway Business.