By MARK KENNEDY
AP Drama Writer
Broadway got two pieces of bad news Tuesday: The total box office take dipped ever so slightly this past season and the number of ticket buyers dipped 6 percent. Both were blamed in part on Superstorm Sandy.
According to figures released by The Broadway League, Broadway shows yielded $1,138,734,331 _ or about $577,000 less than last season. Attendance fell from 12.33 million in the 2011-2012 season to 11.57 million this season.
The League linked the twin decreases to Hurricane Sandy, which darkened Broadway for four days in November and cost shows more than $8.5 million in lost revenue. It noted that grosses and attendance figures in the fall were above the numbers generated a year before, but then the storm hit.
Shows that came and went this season quickly include “Orphans,” “The Testament of Mary,” “Hands on a Hardbody,” “The Anarchist,” “Scandalous,” “Jekyll & Hyde” and “The Performers.”
Broadway grosses and attendances have generally been on the increase year after year, as has the number of playing weeks. A 6 percent dip in playing weeks this season to just 1,430 clearly hurt.
A total of 46 new shows opened during the season, which began May 28, 2012, and ended Sunday: 15 musicals, 26 plays and five special events or concerts. The 26 plays produced this season set a new record.
The season may have been rocky but it is ending with a big bang. Newcomers “Cindarella,” “Kinky Boots,” “Lucky Guy,” “Matlida” and “Motown: The Musical” joined stalwarts “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Wicked” and “The Phantom of the Opera” to top $1 million for the week ending Sunday.
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