I know the holidays are over, but . . .
. . . this kind of news deserves some serious celebrating, and its own blog post.
Somebody pop a bottle of something, and drop a ball over a million people, because Broadway just posted its best attended and highest grossing week ever.
The week between Xmas and New Year’s Eve is always the biggest/best of the year, thanks to the bajillions of tourists that rush to town (it’s why many shows take advantage of the Actors Equity rule that allows them to shove in an extra performance in that week and cut one from the previous/following week without penalty), but this week was especially huge.
We grossed over $42 million (!) last week, as opposed to $31 million the previous year. Most of that bump came from the usual suspects . . . Wicked grossed $2.7 million (a record), The Lion King grossed $2.5 million (another record), and so on. (And, as I often like to remind myself, we actually grossed well over $42 million if you add in all the money that brokers and secondary sellers make on top of our tickets. During a hot week like last week, I’d bet there was another $4 million in “vig” made by secondary sources.)
But wait, there’s more! After a record setting number of butts in the seats last week, the Broadway League is reporting that our grosses are up 13.5% and attendance is up 14% compared to this time last season . . . with almost 20 more shows to open this spring!
And that of course is the answer to what’s driving all this good news. Producing shows is a popular thing these days, and the public is responding by coming out in droves.
So drink up my friends, on this frigid Tuesday in January. We’re having a heck of a season. Let’s see if we can keep it together during the icy part of the winter.
And, with all these people, and all these premium tickets, profitability should be up too, right?
Somehow I doubt it . . . but we’ll try and answer that at the end of the year. Stay tuned. And stay warm.
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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.