Broadway Box Office Coasts into Holiday Season

Volatility Tempers as Industry Gears Up for Winter Break

Aladdin, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, Wicked and The Lion KingOver the past few weeks, Broadway has been flip flopping between very high grosses and significantly lower grosses on an industry wide scale.  This past week, this volatility calmed down to a degree, as no new shows began performances, and no shows completed their runs.  Across the 32 shows currently running, 7 saw an increase in ticket sales, and 25 saw a decrease in sales.  However, most of these changes were on the smaller side, as the total cumulative change across all shows was a decrease of $900,833.  In contrast, the last few weeks have seen fluctuations as much as $5 million both up and down.  As December is well underway, and in the week preceding the week leading up to Christmas, Broadway has settled into a more fluid pace.  Of these shows, the biggest increase in ticket sales was seen by Wicked, which went up by $106,733 to reach a weekly gross of $2,000,828.  Not far behind was SpongeBob SquarePants, which went up by $105,821 to reach a weekly gross of $758,067.  In addition, Cats went up by $44,091 to reach a weekly gross of $943,084, The Lion King went up by $31,456 to reach a weekly gross of $2,336,750, Come From Away went up by $29,951 to reach a weekly gross of $1,391,115, Anastasia went up by $12,681 to reach a weekly gross of $1,058,320, and Once on This Island went up by $9,691 to reach a weekly gross of $553,305.

Family Friendly Shows Fared Better than Shows Gearing Olderspongebob squarepants

In contrast, the biggest decrease was seen by Beautiful, which went down by $148,713 to reach a weekly gross of $894,555.  Whereas the family friendly shows such as Wicked and SpongeBob SquarePants saw a boost in this winter break season, more adult centric shows such as Beautiful did not fare as well.  In addition, Kinky Boots went down by $118,272 to reach a weekly gross of $837,538, The Parisian Woman went down by $95,588 to reach a weekly gross of $676,246, Hamilton went down by $82,342 to reach a weekly gross of $2,827,018, Junk went down by $74,993 to reach a weekly gross of $399,049, and Waitress went down by $73,438 to reach a weekly gross of $1,031,798.  Other smaller decreases were seen by A Bronx Tale the Musical, which went down by $71,226 to reach a weekly gross of $825,885, Hello, Dolly!, which went down by $70,845 to reach a weekly gross of $2,448,611, The Phantom of the Opera, which farinelli and the kingwent down by $70,834 to reach a weekly gross of $962,224, Farinelli and the King, which went down by $55,013 to reach a weekly gross of $712,364, and Latin History for Morons, which went down by $46,588 to reach a weekly gross of $406,327.  While this week was a bit worse in terms of box office than last week, it was actually a 12.5% increase compared to this same week last year.  While this week’s collective gross was $34,359,422, which amounts to a per-show average of $1,073,732, this same week last year had a collective gross of $30,541,921, with the same number of shows running.  Therefore, Broadway’s price hikes have found a way to continue growing the industry – between Hamilton, long-running and ever-rising hits such as The Lion King and Wicked, new contenders such as The Band’s Visit, and high-grossing events such as Springsteen on Broadway, the industry is in great form at present.

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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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