The Music Man Leads Pack on Broadway, Making $3.5 Million at the Box Office Last Week
We get a closer look at business on Broadway as the League begins to publish data on specific shows.
For the first time since Broadway reopened in 2021, the Broadway League has published data on ticket sales as they pertain to specific shows.
Previously, this information (known as the "weekly grosses") was only reported as a collective number, showing the total weekly box office for all shows running on Broadway (ex. $15,038,225 for the week ending January 30), total attendance (139,584), and capacity (73.94%).
But starting this week, the Broadway League will once against break out this data to reflect the performance of individual shows, as was custom before the pandemic. The first batch of numbers (for the week of March 14-20) is unsurprising, if still jaw-dropping.
The blockbuster revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster led the pack on Broadway, raking in $3,451,723.68 for just a week of performances (the average paid admission was $283.28, and the Winter Garden Theatre was at 99.88% capacity).
That's over a million dollars more than the next highest-grossing musical, Hamilton, which brought in $2,272,219 last week (average admission $213.01). Other musicals that were doing quite well before the pandemic continue to do well now: Wicked grossed $1,944,704.00 (average admission $130.51) and The Lion King grossed $1,778,641.00 (average admission $132.74).
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child continues to be the highest-grossing play on Broadway at $1,704,152.10 ($141.65 average paid admission), although the revival of Neil Simon's Plaza Suite starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick came in a close second at $1,657,089.80 (average paid admission $212.67).
Among the shows that played a full 8 performances last week, the revival of Richard Greenberg's gay baseball drama Take Me Out grossed the least at $351,019.03 (average admission $86.78), although it is important to remember that this play is in previews and is being produced by the not-for-profit Second Stage in the smallest house on Broadway (just 585 seats). Compare that to Harry Potter, which plays the Lyric (1,622 seats).
More concerning is the performance of the new musical Paradise Square, which played 8 previews in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (981 seats) last week and grossed $355,401.00 (average paid admission $46.84). Still, the show played to 96.69% capacity, suggesting that many theatergoers are seeing it on comps or through deeply discounted tickets as the producers seek to build word-of-mouth. That makes Paradise Square the most affordable opportunity to catch a new musical on Broadway right now — but you can expect your options to multiply as April rolls around and 14 new productions open just in time for the Tony Awards cutoff date.
Those with a curiosity about how specific shows did in the fall and winter of this season, when the Broadway League was not reporting this data, can see it on the League's website, where it has now been uploaded.