[CASE STUDY] The Thursday Matinees at A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical

In late August, I posted something casually on my Instagram about our new schedule at A Beautiful Noise.

That schedule?  Four matinees per week, instead of the industry standard three matinees per week, with the fourth coming on Thursdays.

That post got a lot of pick-up.  Even the press started writing about it.

So, I made a promise that after a month or so, I’d share my results publicly with the hope that it could help those out there considering unique performance schedules for this unique time in theatergoing history.

In coming up with these results, I looked at the data for the Thursday matinees in September (our first month – and notoriously a difficult month for Broadway).  I compared them to the averages for the Wednesday evening performances during the previous 12 weeks.  Why Wednesday evening?  This is the performance that we cut in exchange for the Thursday matinee.  And as I told the press folks who asked . . . this change wasn’t just about adding a performance that I believed my audience wanted . . . but it was about eliminating a performance that they didn’t.  (I’d bet all shows around town are disappointed with their Wednesday evening numbers.)

Here’s what we came up with:

Compared to the Wednesday evenings over the previous twelve weeks, our Thursday matinees in September . . . 

  • Grossed 80% (!) higher.
  • Doubled the attendance.
  • Had 148% more premium conversions

And . . . my favorite statistic?

  • Had 12% more out-of-town buyers.

That’s right . . . we got more tourists.  Because on Thursdays, there isn’t as much competition.  And they were able to squeeze in another show instead of just wandering around Times Square wishing there was a Broadway show to see.

So . . . there it is . . . data that proves a Thursday matinee can be successful.  Now, before you go running out there and swapping your schedule, remember, that one of the reasons it worked is because of the show itself.  A Beautiful Noise has a built-in high demand for matinees.  That’s what we saw out of the gate . . . and what got us to think about this in the first place.  There are plenty of shows that this would NOT work for.

So don’t rush to change your schedule . . . but do rush to consider changing your schedule. 

The post-pandemic world is different from the pre-pandemic world.  And we must bend to the will of the audience, so that we don’t break.

Here’s a fun little infographic for sharing and posting, brought to you by my ticketing analysts at Tanna.

Oh, and if you don’t believe me about how those Thursday matinees are doing, come for yourself.  Click here to get a ticket for A Beautiful Noise on Thursdays at 2pm.

We’re the only Broadway show with a Thursday matinee.

That is, until Harmony starts them on November 30th.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.