The Broadway League shared a snapshot of the industry’s grosses Wednesday, saying that 85% of seats across all operating Broadway theaters were filled last week.
While the League initially said it would not report weekly grosses, it released an aggregate report for the 26 Broadway shows running in the week ended Oct. 24, 2021. In that week, the productions collectively grossed $22.16 million across a total of 174 performances.
The lack of detail on individual show grosses, as well as the staggered start to this season make exact comparisons to prior seasons difficult. In the week ended Oct. 27, 2019, a relatively similar time period, the 34 running shows grossed a total of $33.9 million. Theaters that week were running at 88.6% capacity across 267 performances.
Comparing the two weeks reveals that, on average, grosses per performance have remained largely the same, with even a slight .08% increase this season over 2019.
But as prior grosses reports have shown, hits such as “Hamilton” and “Wicked,” which typically have high attendance and sky-high box office reports, tend to make up a large portion of the total, skewing the overall picture.
The previous week on Broadway also saw the heralded return of “Phantom of the Opera,” which began performances Friday, and the first performances back from “Jagged Little Pill” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” on Thursday, leading to an uneven week. There were a total of 176,083 attendees across all 26 shows, according to the League.
Across the 130 playing weeks this season, the industry has grossed $105 million and played at an 86% capacity.
Going forward, the League said it plans to release weekly reports on the total grosses, capacity and number of performances across the industry. These reports are being released “due to the increased demand for how Broadway is doing,” according to a statement from Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin.
Before this, reports on the financial health of the industry had been anecdotal, with industry members cautioning that new plays are not doing well, while musicals are faring relatively better. To that end, “Dana H.” and “Is This a Room” announced this week that the productions will close two months earlier than scheduled.
Ticketing experts have also noticed a trend in last-minute buying, while tourists have not yet made a full-scale return to the city.