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, …

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Dull Is Dangerous, Sharp Is Safe

Back in the days when I trained teenagers to cut bagels for living, we had an expression about knives: Dull is dangerous, sharp is safe. Basically, what that means is that a knife that isn’t properly sharpened has a tendency to snag or to cut a person’s hand in a way that’s much worse than a sharp blade. I really enjoyed reading Isaac Butler’s piece about the supposedly safe course pursued by some venues in programming familiar material in their …

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Dollars Matter, But So Does Attendance

Broadway had a great Thanksgiving weekend, breaking the all-time revenue record as people poured in from out of town to celebrate the long weekend with a show. The record that wasn’t broken, however, was the attendance record, which was actually 4% off the all-time record this year. It’s a good moment to ask the question: Does that matter? Isn’t it dollars, not tickets, that count? Yes, and no. Yes, because it’s true that you take dollars to the bank, not …

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The Importance of Reaping Revenue From the ‘Other’ Category

In contrast to the gloomier news in other spots in the symphonic world, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has reported increases in revenue from both tickets and donations and a much, much smaller operating deficit. In fact, this year’s ticket sales record of just over $22 million surpassed last year’s sales, which were also a record. Very interestingly, to me, about $10 mm in revenue came from what I’d call the “Other” category, which included “tour fees, merchandise sales, space rentals, …

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