Broadway’s 2012-13 Quarter 3 Report

I love a Broadway Q3 Report.  Cuz it tells me that spring is right around the corner.

And spring brings warm weather, warmer hellos from formerly frigid NYers, and higher grosses thanks to the spring crop of new plays and musicals (including my Macbeth and Kinky Boots).

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s jump back and find out how the past 13 weeks stacked up in terms of gross and attendance.


  • So far this season, we’ve grossed $834,963,738
  • Last season at the end of Q3 we were at $820,688,397.
  • That’s an increase of 1.7% for the season so far.


  • 8,488,237 people have seen Broadway shows so far this year.
  • 8,829,459 people had seen Broadway through doors of a theater at this time last year.
  • That’s a . . . wait for it . . . 3.9% decrease from last year.
  • There were 1,061 playing weeks after three quarters this year.
  • There were 1,070 playing weeks after three quarters last year.
  • That’s a decrease of .8% from last season.

So, the steady decline continues.  If you remember, Q1 results had us up 12.7% in gross and 4.6% in attendance.  We slid back to 3.8% and -1.5% respectively for Q2.

And then we dropped over two percentage points in this quarter.

What the @&#$ is happening?

The decrease in playing weeks is a miniscule part of it.  Also, as we know, Broadway’s health is driven by big, bouncy, new musicals . . . and this past fall didn’t have one.

We’ll make up some ground as the big spring shows start raising their curtains (Cinderella and Hands on a Hardbody last week, Kinky Boots this week, Motown in a week and a half, etc.)

But making up 3.9% to bust even for the year in terms of attendance is a lot of butts, so we’ve got some work to do.  I’m not sure we’re going to make it.  I won’t start my attendance rant just yet, though.  I’m going to ‘secret’ like a madman that I won’t need to and when I post the year-end results in 13 weeks, the sun will be shining and we’ll be in positive territory again.

See you then.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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  • Nathalie says:

    Why’d you decide to do Kinky Boots as a musical?

  • Ken, Hello again. I have some relevant comments; I keep saying I’m a 1776 Shareholder, it’s getting old I wish I could introduce myself some other way. Be that as it may I can report for 1776 as at this point a non-Broadway show having the best year in a decade. It’s still pennies but given that I know about every 1776 performance from high school to the top I have a few theories about managing productions that are difficult to promote and license.

  • RR says:

    Ken, with the higher revenue but lower attendance rates, is Broadway, like that of our major film chains, going to continue to raise prices in order to compensate for the revenue that is lost from decreased audience attendance? If so, when is the breaking point. Broadway has already become too expensive for the average citizen and the formerly cheap date of a “dinner and a movie” has quickly become quite an expensive night out with movie prices climbing to $13 or as high as $16 when 3D is implemented. With the increase of other forms of easily accessible and cheap media, it is inevitable that Broadway (and going to the movies in a theater) will continue to decline while still remaining a force to be reckoned with. But, how can we lower the price of producing without passing the burden along to the spectators?

  • Zanne Hall says:

    What’s going on with Off B’way attendance? B’way expensive, mostly musicals. Off B’way – good innovative stuff happening and more manageable $$$-wise.

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