Broadway Sales Go Crazy Over Christmas
A few amazing highlights of the Broadway box office numbers from the week of Christmas:
• Wicked breaks $3 million on nine performances. That’s more than $300,000 every time that curtain goes up. Average paid ticket price was $184.50. Wow.
• A play (not a musical) did $1.4 million. That was Betrayal, starring Daniel Craig.
• Four other musicals broke $2 million, a number that a few years ago seemed unattainable. Those shows were: Kinky Boots, Spider-Man, Lion King and, of course, The Book of Mormon.
• Thirteen other shows went over a million for the week, including Phantom of the Opera, which has only been running for 26 years.
Of course, Broadway’s seating capacity has a finite limit, so while 95% of seats were sold, most of the growth here is in ticket price. That’s a reality that’s not without a downside, but for anyone in the business of live entertainment, it’s important to understand what this means. Higher prices mean people place more value on the product. That has its own issues, to be sure, but once again, would you rather be in a business where people continually are willing to pay more for a product, or in an industry (like recorded music, for example) where value has dropped and dropped to the point where the product has hardly any value at all?
Christmas week on Broadway was a good reminder of how nice it is to be in an industry that has a product people still like to pay for!