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Broadway's 'Wicked' musical earns new record
By MARK KENNEDY, AP Drama Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Oz has reclaimed the box-office crown on Broadway.

The Broadway League reported Wednesday that the nine-year-old "Wicked" took in a whopping $2,947,172 over nine performances last week, which is the highest single-week gross of any show in Broadway history.

It squeaked by the old record holder, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,"  by $5,382. "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" earned $2,941,790 over nine performances last year during the holidays. Back then, the webslinger had swiped the title from "Wicked." (For the record, the "Spider-Man" musical earned $2,716,990 last week over nine shows.)

Both musicals' huge hauls reflect the use of premium seating, in which producers charge higher prices for certain days and certain seats. "Wicked" managed to command as much as $300 for a top premium seat — second only to the "Book of Mormon," which has a top premium of $477. The average admission price paid for "Wicked" was $181.

But making its feat more impressive is the fact that it is performed at the Gershwin Theatre, which has about 100 seats less than the 1,930-seat Foxwoods Theatre, home of the superhero musical.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, "Wicked" is the story of the witches of Oz, before they meet Dorothy and her little dog. It has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. Globally, the show has amassed nearly $2.9 billion in ticket sales and has been seen by 36 million people.

It wasn't just "Wicked" investors who were smiling: Every show on Broadway had some reason to be happy for the week ending Sunday, with all of them posting gains. Shows that earned more than $2 million included "The Lion King," ''The Book of Mormon" and "Annie," in addition to "Wicked" and "Spider-Man."

Those that took in more than $1 million included "Jersey Boys," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Elf," "Evita," "Chicago," "Bring It On: The Musical," "A Christmas Story," "Mama Mia," "Mary Poppins," "Newsies," "Once," "The Phantom of the Opera" and "War Horse."

Overall, the Broadway League reported that the total gross for all shows last week was $37,441,497, better than the same week last season, which pulled in $37,657,453. One worrying trend is that attendance has fallen, with 292,432 seats sold last week versus 321,152 sold last year.

___

Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
7Comments
Jan 3, 2013 9:23AM
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In addition to the errors mentioned by the readers below, Mr. Kennedy, the show is spelled MAMMA MIA. Perhaps you've heard of it? It's been on Broadway for a decade. Please do a better job of checking your facts.
Jan 3, 2013 1:15AM
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Across the street from "Wicked", is Times Square Church, on 51st and Broadway; a much better option, and no charge for seats.  Services are at 10am, 3pm, and 6 pm on Sunday, and 7pm on Tuesday.  Check it out...

Jan 3, 2013 12:01AM
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Keep prices going up and they will be able to say they have the highest priced empty seats anywhere!

Greed- not ncesessity is driving prices.

Jan 2, 2013 8:20PM
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I love going to the theater but it saddens me how much ticket prices are these days.  I enjoyed Wicked very much and consider it to be in my top 5 all time favorite shows.  But for the price I paid for my tickets I could see two or three other shows of equal quality.
Jan 2, 2013 7:56PM
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Mark needs to check his numbers one more time. The total gross last year, according to the story, was $215,956 more than this year. Still - a great week for Broadway.
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