Broadway Box Office Takes a Downward Turn

Across the Board, Lower Ticket Sales on Broadway

Aladdin, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, Wicked and The Lion KingIn the week ending October 29, 2017, Broadway curtailed its upward momentum.  This past week, across the 28 shows currently running, only 6 saw an increase in ticket sales, and those increases were small to negligible, while the remaining 22 shows saw a decrease in ticket sales, some of which were quite significant.  Over the 28 shows, the collective gross this past week was $28,628,694, which is a decrease of $1,634,464 from the week before, from these same shows. While this week’s per-show average was $1,022,453, last week’s was a bit higher at $1,080,827.  This past week, with an average top ticket price of $315.70, the average paid admission across all shows was $123.84, and the average audience capacity across the board was 88.31%, down from 90.71% in the previous week.  Most notably, the biggest decrease in ticket sales was seen by the megahit Hamilton, which went down by $252,203 to reach a weekly gross of $2,665,092, which is still a remarkable 111.3% of the show’s gross potential.  Further significant decreases were seen by Anastasia, which went down by $184,333 to reach a weekly gross of $768,548, and Wicked, which went down by $171,262 to reach a weekly gross of $1,524,660.  Even Prince of Broadway, which played its final week of performances this past week, saw a decrease of $147,512 across a full week of eight performances, when normally shows see an uptick in their final week.  Following its negative post-opening reviews, M. Butterfly saw a decrease of $111,133, bringing in a weekly gross of $528,964.  On the flip side, the biggest increase was seen by Latin History for Morons, which went up by $22,546, reaching a weekly gross of $334,883, or 66.3% of its gross potential.  Other small increases were seen by such show as Come From Away, which went up by $20,124 to reach a weekly gross of $1,331,434, Dear Evan Hansen, which went up by $11,058 to reach a weekly gross of $1,677,889, and Springsteen on Broadway, which went up by $6,710 to reach a weekly gross of $2,383,080.

“Prince of Broadway” Defies the Norm, Declining in Final Weekhal prince of broadway

This past week, Prince of Broadway played its final performance on October 29, 2017.  Almost as a rule, even when shows are flailing, there is generally an increase in ticket sales in the final week of any run.  Fans usually catch some piece of press alerting them to the show’s imminent closure, and those who hadn’t prioritized buying tickets earlier will be motivated to rush to the theater in the final week to catch it before it ends.  In the case of Prince of Broadway, the musical revue tribute to the director and producer Harold Prince, this was not so.  This past week, Prince of Broadway showed a significant decrease in ticket sales, going down by $147,512 to reach a weekly gross of $217,558.  In fact, this was the lowest weekly gross seen by this show over the course of its entire run.  While this week’s gross represented just 29.51% of its gross potential, the average percentage reached of gross potential throughout the run was 45.81%.  While this is still not very high, it is significantly better than the numbers demonstrated in the final week, which were dire.  Perhaps it is because the show was reviewed negatively, and it contained so many songs from other musicals, that fans felt little urgency to catch these renditions, when they could just as well wait for the next revival of any of the shows whose songs made up this musical revue.

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With over 20 years experience in the Broadway field, including show marketing, production, development and investment, Jennifer R Jones is an all-around subject-matter-expert in the Broadway business. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and her iMac and tries to see at least five Broadway shows per week and when time will allow, will sneak in a daytime TV production for fun.
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