In the final week of 2016, the Broadway industry took a leap of almost $20 million across the industry
In Fantastic New Years Holiday Week, “The Lion King” Surpasses Record
This past week, the entire Broadway industry saw a phenomenal week of ticket sales, but perhaps the most notable accomplishment was achieved by a long-running success story. The Lion King, which has been running since October 15, 1997, has brought in its best weekly gross of all time, surpassing the $3 million mark for the first time. Over nine performances, the musical brought in $3,098,330, which represents 108.78% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $225.00, the average paid admission was $202.96, and the audience was filled up to 100.0% of capacity. Prior to this past week, the weekly gross record for The Lion King was $2,885,371, which took place in the week ending December 28, 2014. Nevertheless, despite setting the record for the highest weekly gross, this past week did not come close to reaching the musical’s personal best in terms of percentage reached of gross potential. That record took place in another New Years holiday week, the week ending January 2, 2011, when the show reached 130.58% of its gross potential. Times have really changed since The Lion King began performances in 1997, when the top ticket price was only $75, and the average paid admission was $59.26. In comparison to Hamilton, which this past week had a top ticket price of $998.00, it is absolutely stupefying how much more cost prohibitive is has become to see a Broadway show in the past 2 decades. Broadway is on a roll, and Governor Cuomo may now think about taxing it's ticket sales, which would bring in an estimated $800 million in sales tax revenue every year for the state.
Every Broadway Show Increased in Ticket Sales This Past Week
In the week ending January 1, 2017, Broadway saw an extraordinary week at the box office overall. Historically, the New Years holiday week is a great one for Broadway financial performance, which is why many shows that struggle in the last months of a given year often hold out until the new year, followed by a series of show closings throughout January. In the case of this past week, the entire Broadway industry benefited from the holiday cheer. Of the 33 shows currently running, every show saw an increase in ticket sales from the week before, even the shows that have been a box-office disaster, like On Your Feet. Of the 32 shows that were running both this past week and the week before, the collective box office increased by $19,296,476, which is a significant increase indeed, amounting to a 12.80% increase across the industry. The highest weekly gross was brought in by Hamilton, which topped its record from the previous week by $31,892, bringing in a weekly gross of $3,335,430 across eight performances. The next biggest increase was seen by Wicked, which brought in $3,162,603 over nine performances, representing 158.0% of its gross potential, with an average paid admission of $182.83. This is the second highest gross of all time for Wicked; the only more lucrative week for the musical was the week ending December 29, 2013, when it brought in $3,201,333. Therefore, this marks the best gross for Wicked in over 3 years. As previously discussed, The Lion King broke its personal best with a weekly gross of $3,098,330, which made it the third highest grossing show this past week.
Many Closing Shows See a Big Boost in Their Final Week
Anther notable increase was seen in the final week of performances for The Illusionists – Turn of the Century, which brought in $2,397,106 over an outstanding 17 performances this past week, which though marking an increase of $1,569,681 from the week before, still only represented 67.8% of the show’s gross potential, with so many performances skewing the data. As for the other shows that closed this past week, Matilda brought in a final weekly gross of $1,902,189 over nine performances, which represents 142.1% of its gross potential, and an increase of $878,785 from the week before – going out on a high note. In addition, Something Rotten! brought in a final weekly gross of $1,478,303 over nine performances, which represents 86.9% of its gross potential, and which is an increase of $815,494 from the week before. As for Fiddler on the Roof, which closed a day earlier than the others on December 31, 2016, that show also managed to squeeze in nine performances in the final week, bringing in a weekly gross of $1,848,030, which is an increase of $978,919 from the week before, and which represents 109.9% of its gross potential.