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Box Office: Shakespeare Sells as ‘Spider-Man’ Gets Blues

Vanessa Williams, Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding Jr during curtain call at the Broadway opening night of
Vanessa Williams, Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding Jr during curtain call at the Broadway opening night of "The Trip To Bountiful." Photographer: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Ticket sales tumbled last week for Broadway musicals showing signs of age. Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, however, had a good kick-off.

“Once,” “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” and “Rock of Ages” reported their lowest grosses this year. “Once” took in $636,000, down by more than a third from the $1 million-plus its producers were enjoying each week last summer after winning the 2012 Tony Award for best musical.

“Spider-Man,” at $967,000, had its lowest gross since officially opening in June 2011. “Cinderella’”s $812,000 was its worst weekly haul since opening in March. “Annie” pulled in $747,000, down 7 percent and had its worst week since May.

Broadway sales overall declined 6 percent, to $20.6 million. Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” closed after a respectable five-month run and a more than respectable Tony Award for best play.

“The Trip to Bountiful” did $482,000 over seven performances, helped no doubt by a visit by Michelle Obama, her two daughters and their security detail.

“Motown,” one of last season’s biggest hits that was also on the Obama weekend tour, did a buoyant $1.4 million.

A new production of “Romeo and Juliet” with Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad as the easy-on-the-eyes teen angels took in $207,000 for two previews. “Soul Doctor,” about the guitar-playing Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, continued on life support, earning just $187,000 over eight performances.

Muse highlights include Peter Rainer on movies and Hamptons Scene.

To contact the reporter on this story: Philip Boroff in New York at pboroff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff in New York at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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