Box office for the 2018-19 Broadway season hit a big $1.829 billion, easily besting the second closest recent year-end tally (last year’s tally for an unusual 53-week season of $1.697 billion). Total attendance for the just-concluded 52-week season was 14,77 million, about 7% greater than last year’s 53-week tally of 13,79 million.
“The trend is clear: Broadway has never been more appealing to so many different people, ranging from kids to grandparents and everyone in between,” Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement. “This substantial growth in attendance clearly reflects the large variety of offerings including long-running shows, new hit productions and stories relevant to our society today. This coupled with the fact that over 50% of tickets are priced below $101, the industry is achieving its goal of being more accessible to everyone.”
The new season has been heavy on the big hitters, from To Kill a Mockingbird and Network to Hadestown and Ain’t Too Proud. Some holdovers from the previous season showed no signs of slipping in the just-closing season: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theatre grossed a record $105.1 million in total ticket sales for the 2018-19 Broadway season, marking the first time a Broadway play has grossed over $100M in a year, according to producers.
During the final week of this season, Broadway was up about 3% in box office from the previous week for the 37 shows, with total b.o. of $35.9 million In all, attendance of 314,317 for the weekend ending May 26 was up about 1% from the previous week.
Most entries for Week 52 (ending May 26) pulled their weight, though some reported slips. Ain’t Too Proud, the Temptations musical, hit $1.57 million, a virtual sellout. Aladdin, a weekly strong performer, was up more than $100G to $1,48 million, perhaps getting some of that spinoff mojo from the just-released Disney live-action film.
The multi-nominated Hadestown at the Walter Kerr beat its previous record for the fourth consecutive week, taking in $1,197,934, 109% of potential. Network ($1,008,529) and To Kill A Mockingbird ($1,647,412) joined Ain’t Too Proud among season newcomers hitting full potential.
The only previewing show, the Terrence McNally revival of Frankie and Johnny In The Clair E Lune, starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon, might have been hit with pre-opening comps and press seats: Either way the show dipped just less than 3G to $299,455. Reviews will tell the tale. The show opens May 30.
The week’s sellouts — or close enough, with attendance at 98% of capacity or more — were Ain’t Too Proud, Aladdin, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Network, Oklahoma!, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, To Kill a Mockingbird, What The Constitution Means to Me and Wicked.
Season to date, Broadway has grossed $1,829,312,140, a solid 10% jump over last year’s $1,658,027,027 (at the 52-week mark) and about 8% more than last season’s 53-week total of $1,697,458,795. This season’s attendance of 14,768,254 was 10% more than last year’s 13,484,294 (at the 52-week mark) and about 7% greater than last year’s 13,792,614 (at the 53-week mark).
All figures courtesy of the trade group Broadway League.
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