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Hollywood Stars Smash Broadway Records

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Jemal Countess/Getty

If you want to break the box office, you get an A-list star – and Broadway’s learning that that’s as true in theater as it is on the silver screen.

With movie stars on the marquees of its plays, Broadway is seeing one of its best fall seasons in recent years, selling $21.1 million from Oct. 12 to 18, according to The New York Times.

A Steady Rain has grossed over $1 million, thanks to stars Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman. Meanwhile, Shakespeare is hot as never before, with Jude Law raking in $904,914 last week, bringing total box office receipts for Broadway to $21.1 million for the week of Oct. 12 to 18.

Last year, the hot ticket was Daniel Radcliffe‘s (mostly naked) turn in Equus, which grossed a mere $782,307 in the same weeklong period. Broadway’s grosses were $19.7 million, less it from plays, and not including the grosses for the musical Young Frankenstein.

Jude Law as Hamlet
“These three current plays are doing absolutely sensational business, especially considering that the economy hasn’t fully recovered, Philip J. Smith, chairman of Broadway’s Shubert Organization, told the Times. “They’ve been a huge factor in this unusually healthy fall for recession-era Broadway. If only all shows were doing so well.”

But sometimes a play’s success is buoyed more by great reviews and buzz – even if the names on the playbill aren’t quite as attention-grabbing. God of Carnage has also broken the $1 million, and features respected actors Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden.