Leading up to the lucrative holiday weeks, the Lea Michele-led Funny Girl broke a box office record at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.
The revival brought in just above $2 million across eight shows last week, which also marked a record gross for the production. Michele joined the revival in September, following the departure of Beanie Feldstein, in a move seen to help boost grosses for the then-struggling show.
Since Michele joined the production on Sept. 6, Funny Girl has seen that boost, with the musical bringing in more than $1.6 million a week, and recently closer to $2 million, after more modest returns in the spring and a drop to less than $1 million over the summer.
Mean Girls, which played the August Wilson Theatre from March 2018 until the theatrical shutdown, previously set the house record at the theater in 2018 with a gross of $1.99 million.
The recent box office record was set as Funny Girl played to a capacity of 96 percent and commanded an average ticket price of $213.28, the second highest of all shows for the week. Only The Music Man had a higher average ticket price, at $267.99, which helped the show continue its reign as the highest-grossing show of the week, bringing in $3.25 million.
Ain’t No Mo‘ was another notable standout in the week ended Dec. 18, as the new play saw its grosses triple to reach $499,303 from $164,592 the previous week and play to a capacity of 93 percent. The surge came as creator Jordan E. Cooper waged a campaign to stop the show from closing and received help along the way from Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Tyler Perry, Shonda Rhimes, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Queen Latifah and Sara Ramirez, all of whom bought out performances. The show has now extended through Dec. 23 after initially being told it would close on Dec. 18.
Grosses remain high for the standard top performers on Broadway, with The Lion King bringing in $2.4 million, Wicked bringing in $2.2 million and Hamilton bringing in $2.3 million. Phantom continues to see elevated interest, after extending its closure to April after a run of 35 years.
But many Broadway newcomers continue to struggle, with productions such as Topdog/Underdog, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play starring Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, grossing $257,217 last week and playing to a capacity of 52 percent, which has been the trend for several weeks. Almost Famous, which just announced a Jan. 8 closing, played to a capacity of 68 percent and grossed $703,714, down about $61,000 from the previous week.
These grosses are still a welcome reprieve from last December, when a surge in omicron cases among cast and company members caused the cancellation of dozens of performances across the industry and led to the permanent closure of some shows. Coming up, the weeks around Christmas and New Years Eve often bring in the biggest grosses productions see all season.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.