Big holiday ticket prices, bonus performances and large audiences spurred a hefty surge of nearly 50% in Broadway box office last week (ending Jan. 1) over the previous week, with productions including Funny Girl, MJ, Six, Beetlejuice and & Juliet among the shows smashing house records.
With 20 of the 33 shows adding a ninth holiday-week performance to the usual eight-performance schedule, and overall ticket prices up 14% for the New Year’s week, Broadway grossed an impressive $51,912,226, a jump of 49% from the week ending Dec. 25. Attendance was up 31% to 311,447. Broadway’s average ticket price, with premium holiday prices figures in, was $166.68, compared to $146.02 the previous week.
In all, about 92% of the week’s Broadway seats were occupied, compared to 84% during Christmas week.
And compared to last year’s New Years week box office tally of $26M, the industry was up a huge 97%.
The full houses and higher prices resulted in the expected raft of broken house records. Among the shows setting new box office tally highs at their respective venues were:
- Six, selling out at the recently renamed Lena Horne Theater and grossing $1,649,206 for eight performances, besting the previous record of $1,626,478 set by Waitress in January 2018 at the then-named Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Average ticket price was $200, up from $160 the previous week;
- Funny Girl set a new box office record at the August Wilson Theatre, grossing $2,405,901 for a nine-performance week. The revival set the previous house record with an eight-performance take of $2,005,696 in December. Average ticket price last week was $235, up from $223;
- Beetlejuice set a new nine-performance record at the Marquis with $2,462,831. The number was accomplished even without star Alex Brightman in the title role (the actor suffered a concussion during an on-stage mishap during the Christmas Eve performance); average ticket jumped $40 to $169;
- & Juliet broke the nine-performance record at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre with a take of $1,639,788. The previous record of $1,546,950 was set by Beautiful in 2014, and a rep for & Juliet notes that the accomplishment was achieved with a lower holiday premium price ($325 compared to Beautiful‘s $350). The average ticket price for & Juliet was $177, only a bit higher than the Carole King musical’s $175;
- MJ broke its 10th house record at the Neil Simon Theatre with a take of $2,223,069; average ticket was $200;
- Chicago bested its own holiday week record, set in pre-pandemic 2017 at the Ambassador Theatre, with a gross of $1,299,400 and a $132 average ticket price.
Also of note, The Piano Lesson was one of the highest grossing non-musical plays of the week with a take of $1,140,437 at the Ethel Barrymore, making the revival the highest grossing August Wilson play ever on Broadway. The production has been extended through January 29. The non-musical Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took in $2.7M for the week, a figure the productions says is the highest weekly gross for a non-musical in Broadway history, breaking its own record set in 2018.
Other shows in the $1 million+ holiday club were: A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical ($1,425,882); Aladdin ($2,849,723, yet another house record); Almost Famous ($1,055,042); Hadestown ($1,279,810); Hamilton ($2,740,599); Into the Woods ($1,892,625); Moulin Rouge! ($1,975,132); Some Like It Hot ($1,176,786); The Book of Mormon ($1,680,124); The Lion King (with an amazing new house record of $4,315,264 setting an overall Broadway record; average ticket of $285); The Music Man ($3,971,531, average ticket also $285); The Phantom of the Opera ($2,788,017); and Wicked ($3,152,679).
A Christmas Carol starring Jefferson Mays played its final week, slipping by just over $200,000 from Christmas Week to $522,424.
Season to date, Broadway has grossed $965,623,088, with total attendance of 7,442,244 at about 87% of capacity.
All figures courtesy of The Broadway League. For the complete box office listings, visit the League’s website.