End of Q1 Results for Broadway’s 2016-17 Season.

The first sign that summer is sliding into the sunset is when the books close on the first quarter of the Broadway season.  And they did just that this past Sunday.

Hard to believe that 13 weeks have flown by as fast as they did.  Seems like just yesterday we were wondering who was going to win Best Musical at the Tony Awards.  (That was a joke, guys.  Come on, I know fall is knocking on the door, but cheer up already.)

Unfortunately, except for my mediocre jokes, there isn’t much in this blog that is going to make you smile.  It appears that my prediction from last year is coming true. Business is off at a time when it should be up.  (One of the biggest reasons that it has been a cooler summer at the box office is those darn Olympics – hard to compete with that kind of drama, with or without #Lochtegate.)

Let’s see how bad it is.


  • The first 13 weeks of our season have grossed a total of $342,943,810.
  • Last season at the end of Q1 we had grossed $351,345,038.
  • That’s down 2.4% from last year.


  • 3,312,154 people have seen Broadway shows so far this season.
  • 3,277,906 people had seen Broadway shows at the same time last year.
  • That’s up 1% from last season.


  • There were 395 playing weeks so far this season.
  • There were 372 playing weeks last season.
  • That’s a increase of 6.2% over last year.

Ok, ok, so there’s something we don’t see often.  Grosses went down . . . but attendance went up.  That’s directly a result of the tremendous increase in the number of shows on the boards this summer (and also why so many shows were complaining about lower than usual grosses – because that $342 million, which was lower than usual, was now spread across more shows).

So, well, meh.  That’s what the first 13 weeks of this season were like.

Will it get better?  Unfortunately we’ve got another Olympic sized event coming up that’s gonna be even more dramatic.  And if we think the country was embarrassed by Ryan Lochte, well, this election could be a lot worse.

See you in 13 weeks!


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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.