NEW YORK — Superstorm Sandy, which darkened Broadway for four days, predictably ravaged the box offices around Times Square, with shows losing more than $8.5 million.
The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, released data Tuesday that showed all shows took a hit. One of the hardest hurt was the Matthew Broderick musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” It lost $538,853.
Since the storm affected two weeks of data, the league estimates grosses managed just $33.66 million for the past two-week period, a drastic fall from that period last year when the box offices earned $42.2 million. Attendance also plunged 19 percent from the 10-year average.
The storm, which struck last Monday, forced all 40 Broadway theaters to shutter the night before. All shows resumed by Thursday, but the damage had been done, though few expect the pain to last.
“It will come back to its former life, there's no question about it. Broadway is New York, and everyone celebrates the theater in this city,” said Barry Weissler, who has been producing work on Broadway since 1982. “It's catch-up time.”
Most shows on Broadway have eight performances a week, but Sandy forced many, including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Heiress,” “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Chicago,” to put on just six shows. Altogether, 48 performances were canceled.
Sandy joins other recent shocks to have rocked Broadway finances, including the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which shuttered theaters two days, and Hurricane Irene in 2011 that wiped away a weekend's revenue.
“Storms will not stop us, the terrible tragedy of 9/11 will not stop us. Theater will continue. It's one of the oldest art forms known to man and it will continue,” Weissler said.
The league said losses from Hurricane Irene were larger than for Sandy. Not only were 66 performances scrapped for Irene, but the storm struck in summer, not the slower fall.
Sandy may have hurt off-Broadway theaters more. The SoHo Rep and The Bank Street Theater lost power and had flooding, while many other downtown theaters lost power, including MCC Theatre and SoHo Playhouse. The Canal Park Playhouse canceled all November and December performances.
The Public Theater was shut down for almost a week. The lobby at its home at Astor Place is now a collection site for post-Sandy supplies.