‘West Side Story’ Breaks $1M In First Week On Broadway; ‘A Christmas Carol’ Sets House Record

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Well, that was fast: Director Ivo van Hove’s West Side Story joined Broadway’s Million Dollar Club after only six previews, grossing $1,254,440 in its first week of performances.

The musical revival, with all new choreography by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, filled all seats at the Broadway Theatre for the week ending Dec. 15, with a hefty $120 average ticket price pushing box office receipts to 97% of the production’s potential.

The strong showing chipped in to keep total Broadway box office of $38,869,141 about even with the previous week, despite a roster of 34 productions at one fewer than the week before. Total attendance was 302,872, about 2% more than the previous week.

West Side Story, featuring a record-setting cast of 32 Broadway first-timers, certainly is one of the most anticipated shows of the season, stoked by van Hove’s reputation, the beloved score and an intriguing New York TV ad campaign that preceded the show by months. And West Side Story doesn’t even officially open until Feb. 6.

Also bringing holiday cheer to Broadway was A Christmas Carol, director Matthew Warchus’ delightful retelling of the Dickens classic, adapted by Jack Thorne and starring Campbell Scott, Andrea Martin and LaChanze. The production from London’s Old Vic has been building steadily since opening its first Broadway outing Nov. 20, and really came into its own last week, setting a new house record at the Lyceum Theatre with a take of $822,983. Attendance was 98% of capacity, and receipts surpassed the Lyceum’s previous record of $804,513, set in 2017 by Oh, Hello, the Nick Kroll and John Mulaney comedy.

Carol closes its limited engagement Jan. 5.

Another production lifting Broadway’s spirits was Harry Connick – A Celebration of Cole Porter, the ex-American Idol judge’s dazzling evening of the great songwriter’s gorgeous and witty music. Even with heavy press and opening night comps, the limited Connick engagement took in $1.3M, filling 94% of seats at the Nederlander for three previews and five regular performances. Average ticket price was $148, likely the lowest we’ll see that figure between now and the Dec. 29 closing date.

Also notable: Beetlejuice filled 98% of seats at the Winter Garden, taking in a remarkable $1.2M – remarkable because the word-of-mouth success story is getting booted from its Broadway home in June to make way for The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman. Fans – including many younger than the usual Broadway audience, and some quite a bit more famous – expressed their anger on Twitter and Tiktok, leaving industry watchers wondering where, exactly, Beetlejuice might go from here (besides the road, of course).

Selling out for the week (or nearly so, at 98% of capacity or more) were A Christmas Carol, Ain’t Too Proud, David Byrne’s American Utopia, Beetlejuice, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge!, The Book of Mormon, Tina, To Kill a Mockingbird, West Side Story and Wicked.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $963,793,227, down about 7% year to year. Total attendance to date is 7,949,633, about even with last season at this time.

All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.

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