FinishLine

End of Q4 and FINAL results for Broadway’s 2015-16 season.

There are some things I don’t like to be right about.

And where we ended up at the end of this season is one of them.

Last August I wrote a blog predicting that the previous years of box office growth on Broadway were unsustainable, and that we were about to experience a market correction in the next 12-18 months.

And, unfortunately, it seems that the correction has begun.

Before I give you this year’s results, look at these numbers:

– In the 2013-14 season, the box office grew by 11.4% over the previous season.

– In the 2014-15 season, the box office grew by 7.6% over the previous season.

And now for this season’s growth.

– This year, the box office grew by an insignificant 0.6% over the previous season.

And that paltry growth is despite there being an increase of 1.4% in playing weeks.  To translate that stat into layman’s terms:  more shows did not bring in more money (but those additional shows were responsible for a small uptick in actual “butts in seats” attendance figures).

Honestly, I’m shocked that we saw any increase at all.  That’s the good news.  The industry is proving to be more resilient to a correctional period than it has been in the past.  That resilience is mostly due to all the premium pricing going on out there (and this year specifically we owe that to “The Hamilton Factor”).  Can you imagine what the end of season would look like without premium pricing tickets included?  I’d bet you a couple of Hamilton tickets that we’d have seen a significant drop.  (Side note:  I’d also bet that the % of premium priced tickets is going UP every year and contributing more to the total tally than in the previous season.)

So the good news is that thanks to the “price is no object” customer, we’re tougher than ever.

The bad news is that . . . this is just the beginning.

Remember, two of the four reasons that I predicted this market correction would occur haven’t even happened yet:  The Olympics and The Presidential Election.

And both of those events tend to, ahem, “trump,” going to see shows (and just take up way too many headlines, leaving little room for anything else).

Couple that with the fact that I don’t see a Hamilton on our radar in the coming year, and, well, we’re going to have a hard time keeping our grosses growing.

Here are your official results for the 2015-16 season:

GROSSES

  • Final gross for the season was $1,373,253,725.
  • Last season we grossed $1,365,232,182.
  • That’s a 0.6% increase from last season.

ATTENDANCE

  • 13,317,980 people saw Broadway shows in the 2015-16 season.
  • 13,104,078 people saw Broadway shows last season.
  • That’s a 1.6% increase from last season.

PLAYING WEEKS

  • There were 1,648 playing weeks this season.
  • There were 1,626 playing weeks last season.
  • That’s an increase of 1.4% from last season.

Click here to read my original blog about the market correction.

 

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