Broadway’s 4th and Final Quarter results: How’d we gross this year?

Well, that’s all she wrote, kiddies. The final bell has run on the 2009-10 Broadway season.  All the grosses have been counted, and, as Jerry Lewis would say during his Labor Day Telethon when he wanted to check the tote board . . . Timpani!

The Fourth Quarter proved fairly strong, with the new crop of plays and musicals adding significant coinage to the till (especially the new million dollar club member, Addams Family).

So where did we end up?

At first glance, things look groovy, with a 1.5% bump in grosses over last season and a total yearly gross of over a billion buckaroonies! However, as Charlotte St. Martin pointed out in the League’s release that went out yesterday, “If we factor in estimated figures for Young Frankenstein which ran 32 weeks in 2008-2009 [and did not report its grosses], we could be down slightly this season, perhaps as much as 1%.”

More concerning to me, and yes, this is my broken record moment, is the fact that as I unfortunately predicted, attendance dropped by a startling 3% this season (factor in Young Frankenstein, and you’ve got more of a monster type drop).  This marks the first time in 25 years that attendance has dropped three years in a row.

It’s not unexpected, considering the economic sh*t-storm we just went through (and seem to be still going through if you have watched the Dow over the last few weeks), but it is a trend that I find more disturbing than watching Friday the 13th on Halloween . . . in the woods, by myself, a half a mile from a mental institution.

But this week begins a new year.  And although this summer doesn’t have a lot of new shows on the books to start off with a bang, let’s cross our fingers, and raise our capitalizations and hope that this year, the trend turns the other way . . .

I’m predicting an uptick in both grosses and attendance for this coming season. Partly because . . . it can’t get much lower . . .

Can it?

To read the release from The League, click here.


Only 16 days left to enter The Producer’s Perspective Tony Pool. Win an iPad!

Play today! Click here!

And don’t forget to RSVP for my Tony Party!

  • Uke Jackson says:

    Happy New Year! May it be a big one!

  • Aaron says:

    Consider your own statistics. Grosses have gone up and attendance has dropped, which means only that ticket prices have risen. Of course there are fewer people attending these shows, although if money is the end goal, then it’s hard to see why that’s a problem for the producer.
    There’s a lot of cautionary buzz around Shrek 4 right now, which underperformed its opening weekend by $30M, mainly because–according to insiders–of the premium prices of 3D screens (as much as $20 a ticket).
    In any case, this article is paired nicely with your graphs from “Are discounts eroding our ticket sales?” Since they don’t appear to be, perhaps the new trick is to figure out how to make more appealing discounts that will increase attendance, too. Perhaps there’s some way of rewarding frequent theatergoers? Or of discounting only reluctant ones who haven’t seen a show in the last year?

  • Esther says:

    I was never great in math but if nearly 12 million people attended a Broadway show and about 60 percent were tourists, you’re not really drawing a big percentage of the 20 million people in the New York metro area. Maybe 5 million out of 20 million? It would seem like that would be a logical place to try to build a bigger audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *