End of Q1 Results for Broadway’s 2013-14 Season

I just didn’t want to admit it.

I didn’t want to admit that summer was over, which is why I flew by the end of Broadway’s first 13-week cycle last week without my usual blog announcing how we are doing so far.

Yep, it’s true, the first quarter of our ’13-’14 season is in the history books.

But now that I look at the results, I’m kind of wishin’ I never did.

I’m not sounding the alarm bells just yet, but I definitely have my finger on my “I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up” button . . . because something don’t feel so right.

Let’s look at the numbers.

GROSSES

  • So far this season, we’ve grossed $303,156,021.
  • Last season at the end of Q1 we were at $302,393,343.
  • That’s an increase of .3% for the season so far.  (wah-wah)

ATTENDANCE

  • 2,832,678 people have seen Broadway shows so far this season.
  • 3,103,913 people had seen Broadway shows at this point last year.
  • That’s a . . . son of a $#&*@ . . . 8.7% DECLINE from last year.
PLAYING WEEKS
  • There were 321 playing weeks after the first quarter this year.
  • There were 379 playing weeks after the first quarter last year.
  • That’s a decrease of 15.3% from last season.

So unless you are blind as a bat wearing polarized sunglasses, then you can plainly see why I’m about to call “First Response.”

Attendance is down 8.7%.  That’s serious.

Why?

Well, it’s not just that we’re down 8.7%.  It’s that at the end of last season, we were down 6.2% from the previous year!  And that decrease was despite having five more shows in that season than the season before.

And that was the second season in a row that we’ve seen an attendance decline.

If you look at those stats above you can see that the attendance decline is directly attributed to the massive decrease in playing weeks.  You’d think there were less shows, right?  Simple to explain?

Well, that’s wrong.  There was actually one more in the 13th week of our current season than last season.  (That means that we lost a bunch at the beginning of the quarter – and not as many shows are making it into the summer post Tonys.)

Obviously, the season ain’t over until Neil Patrick Harris sings the closing number on the Tony Awards . . . so we have a long way to go.

But we are in the hole over 8.7%.  And that’s despite putting at least 4 big $1mm hits in the theaters last year (My Kinky BootsMatilda, Motown and Pippin).

If we don’t dig ourselves out . . . our numbers will fall three years in a row . . . and, you can bet your bippy I’ll be screaming, “Our attendance has fallen and we GOTTA get ’em up!”

See tomorrow’s blog as to why I’m concerned.

 

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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.

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