End of Q4 and FINAL results for Broadway’s 2013-14 season.
To quote Queen, “Another one bites the dust! And another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust!”
The one I’m referring to, of course, is the Broadway season.
The 2013-14 Broadway season has come to an end, which means you and I and all the other number crunchers out there can take a look at where we started, where we ended up and what that means about where we’re going.
Without any further Queen lyrics, here are the results:
- Final gross for the season was $1,268,881,236
- Last season we grossed $1,138,734,331
- That’s an increase of 11.4% (!) from last season.
- 12,214,823 people saw Broadway shows in the 2013-14 season.
- 11,569,711 people saw Broadway shows last season.
- That’s a 5.6% increase from last season.
- There were 1,496 playing weeks this season.
- There were 1,430 playing weeks last season
- That’s a increase of 4.6% from last season.
Not bad, huh? Not bad at all!
First about those grosses. I mean, have you ever? No, never. Because it’s a brand new record for Broadway business. What brought up these numbers so dramatically this season? We continue and continue and continue to get better at variable and premium pricing which is driving up our grosses, and, of course, the playing weeks increase didn’t hurt. And remember, last year was the first year since 2008 that we dropped some dollars, so it’s good to get them back.
Happy to see attendance bounce back and almost entirely erase the 6% drop that happened last year (remember that?). Now, I’d like to see it grow for three years in a row at about a 2% clip. That possible? Possible yes, likely, no.
And playing weeks – well, you know all that talk about how there are no theaters available? Here’s an actual stat to back it up. To put this number in perspective (which no one ever does for some reason), there are a max of 2,080 total playing weeks available each year (40 Broadway Theaters x 52). So, this year saw an occupancy rate of 72%. (I’m lobbying for this occupancy percentage rate to be used instead of playing weeks – just seems easier to me). That 72% may seem a bit low considering the log jam, but remember, 2,080 playing weeks would be all long-runners. Load-ins, load-outs, etc. all take up weeks, so 2,080 could never be achieved. So 72% has a much higher actual value than it indicates.
Overall, a very healthy “rebuilding year” for Broadway, and I’m glad to see us headed in a more positive direction.
Now, if we could only get recoupment rates to rise as well . . .
What do you think next year will bring? Can we add to these numbers again? What are your predictions for the ’14-15 Broadway season?
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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.