End of Q2 Results for Broadway’s 2014-15 Season

If you’re new to the blog, then welcome to my quarterly analysis of Broadway grosses and attendance (The big-boy businesses on the Dow look at their “earnings” on a quarterly basis, so why not us, right?).  It’s pretty simple, actually.  At the end of each 13 week cycle (the first of which starts the week after the Tony Awards), I take a look at how we’re doing so far, compared to where we were last year.

If you’re not new to the blog, don’t worry, this quarterly report will seem new, because you’ve never seen numbers like this before.

Here we go . . . halfway through the 2014-15 season and . . .

GROSSES

  • The tally so far this season is:  $667,471,431.
  • Last season at the end of Q2 we had grossed $589,000,963.
  • That’s a teenage increase of 13.3% for the Broadway season so far.  (This is why it’s really good to be a theater owner, since part of their rent is a % of the gross.)

ATTENDANCE

  • 6,463,796 people have seen Broadway shows so far this season.
  • 5,687,756 people had seen Broadway shows at this point last year.
  • That’s a 13.6% increase over last year.  Yeah, that’s right, almost another eight hundred thousand people saw shows this year over last year!

PLAYING WEEKS

  • There were 793 playing weeks after the second quarter this year.
  • There were 685 playing weeks after the second quarter last year.
  • That’s a massive increase of 15.8%.  In other words, there are a crap-ton of shows on the boards right now.

So?

Things are going well.  To say the least.  Grosses are up, and attendance is up as well (it’s when gross is up and attendance is flat you know you’re not building your brand).

Part of the big bump comes from that crap-ton of shows that are on the boards right now, but hey, who cares what gets the horse to water, as long as it drinks . . . and preferably from one of those $12 sippy cups all the theaters sell at their concession stands.

We’ve got another half a season left, though.  Do you think these gains will hold up (we already gave back a few percentage points from the end of Q1)?

Honestly, I don’t think we can sustain these gains, even with the packed-house spring coming up.  I’m predicting both attendance and grosses to be up by the end of the year for sure, but I’d put the gains in the single digits instead of the doubles.

But what do you think?  Tell me in the comments below.

 

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Comments
  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    One way of keeping 3Q gains up is to get some of that holiday gift money. Packages? Has there ever been a Broadway gift card>??? NOt sure how to do that math on that. But maybe the show they pay for with the gift card gets the money? Maybe a small donation to Equity Fights AIdes.?

  • Bruce says:

    Ken, something doesn’t make sense. If the first quarter starts after the Tony Awards, that would have been June 8 this year. Six months later (second quarter) would be December 8. I think there have only been 23 weeks completed since the Tony’s, not 26.
    Also in the “Grosses” section, you mention “Last season at the end of Q1…” Don’t you mean Q2?

    • Ken Davenport says:

      You are correct with our second comment . . . but this is the 26th week of the season – straight from the league. I may have been misleading about the exact start date of the season. but trust me it’s the 26th week!

  • Tom Hartman says:

    It is hard to make a prediction without information on advanced sales, particularly for the most dreadful months of the year: Third quarter.

  • Many of the prior years staple productions like Once, Kinky Boots, Jersey Boys and even Phantom seem to be in the extended stages of their production lives. It is reasonable to expect their percentages will slip single digits and affect the whole. Speaking as a CPA I must apply the conservatism principle of accounting to the forecast and agree that the numbers will be down unless there is reason to believe something will stir attendance. Is there a new blockbuster show ready to open? Are there any hot shows in the West End or on tour that are being Broadway prepped? 5% growth in the real estate industry is healthy, so it is smart to have reasonable expectations and be grateful for success on any level. 🙂

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