Broadway box office reached an all-time annual high culminating in a record breaking New Years week shattering several house records.
Broadway Rang in the New Year with Record-Breaking Box Office
In the week ending December 31, 2017, the Broadway industry reached an all-time high. Over the 32 shows currently running, the collective box office gross amounted to $50,354,114, which is an increase of $14,557,899 from the week before. This is also an increase of almost $1 million from the last week of 2016. For the year, the collective box office for the Broadway industry was $1.637 billion, which is the highest grossing year in Broadway history. This enormous upsurge is attributable to several factors, not the least of which is that 17 shows opted to play an extra, ninth performance, adding great potential to their box office income. However, the previous year, 25 shows chose to play an overtime week of nine performances, in addition to the 17-performance week taken on by the magic show The Illusionists. Therefore, the increase of this year over last year is not merely due to the added performances, as fewer shows did so than in the previous year. In addition, the increase of overall box office gross had to do with the average price of paid admission. This past week, the average ticket price across all shows was $164.34, in contrast to the last week of 2016, which had an average ticket price of $138.28. Therefore, even in a year’s time, Broadway has found new ways to push ticket prices into the stratosphere. The highest average paid admission was brought in by Springsteen on Broadway, which had an average ticket price of $508.60. In addition, the average paid admission for Hamilton last week was $358.46, the average ticket price for Dear Evan Hansen was $265.19, the average ticket price for The Lion King was $228.39, the average ticket price for The Book of Mormon was $211.74, and the average ticket price for Hello, Dolly! was $210.76. With so many shows averaging over $200 per ticket, it is no wonder that the overall Broadway industry had enormous growth this past week.
Several Shows Brought In New House Records
This past week, Chicago earned the highest weekly gross of its 21-year run, and also broke the house box office record at the Ambassador Theatre. As the second longest running show in Broadway history, second only to The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago is still riding high on an excellent wave of profitability. This past week, across the nine performances, Chicago brought in a weekly gross of $1,260,248, which represents 119.42% of its gross potential. It beat the record set one year ago in the week ending January 1, 2017, when the weekly gross was $1,248,473, or 120.02% of its gross potential. On average, Chicago has just brought in 64.61% of its gross potential, so while it is not playing in the same leagues as Hamilton or many other higher grossing shows, Chicago is not doing bad in its own territory. Furthermore, several other shows shattered their own box office records at their respective theatres. These include Wicked, which brought in its highest ever weekly gross of $3,301,067, or 164.86% of its gross potential, The Lion King, which brought in its highest ever weekly gross of $3,099,930, or 110.62% of its gross potential, Aladdin, which brought in its third highest ever weekly gross of $2,385,928, or 99.22% of its gross potential, Come From Away, which brought in the highest gross of its run to date of $1,834,218, or 131.58% of its gross potential, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which brought in its highest weekly gross of $2,054,877, or 131.35% of its gross potential, and Waitress, which brought in highest weekly gross ever of $1,452,080, or 126.61% of its gross potential.