You think Broadway is hot now? Just you wait . . .
I’m starting to sound like some kind of musical-living parrot.
“Broadway is booming. Squaaaaak! Broadway is booming.”
As I reported in yesterday’s gross wrap up there was some serious Pirate-like booty in our box offices last week, with 14 shows grossing over $1mm. It’s a good time to have a
show musical on Broadway.
Our industry is hot, thanks partly to the lightning bolt that was last year’s Hamilton, which put Broadway on top of so many people’s “must do” list in the next year. Sure, prices are up, which is what’s driving this explosion of goodness, instead of actual butts in seats, but you know what . . . I’m going to find something good to say about that for once, which is . . . a lot, and I mean a lot, of people are valuing a live theatrical experience at even higher prices than we originally set.
And even if you think some of the prices are high (and they are) . . . the fact that people are paying it? Well, damn it, that’s an amazing thing for all of us . . . because it means that people think we’re worth it! Even when they can stream just about any type of programming on their phones for free!
But that’s not what this blog is about . . .
Because based on my assessment of the next several years on Broadway, the heat that we’re feeling right now . . . ain’t nothing compared to the white-hotness we’re going to feel.
You see, Broadway usually gets a mega-hit every seven or so years (that’s a direct quote from a theater owner, by the way). Give or take a year, there has always been a consistent cycle to us putting up shows like a Rent or a Jersey Boys or a Mamma Mia! or a Mormon. You know, the shows that sit for a decade and also spawn multiple companies around the world.
Last year we put up a Hamilton. So yeah, that’s one of those shows.
So we’ll be waiting another five years or so, right?
By my barometric-boffo-box-office readings, I’m predicting two of those about to land on The Great White Way in the next twelve months: Frozen and Harry Potter.
Big deal, you’re thinking. So we get two more hits.
But the thing is, they’re not just hits. They’re both global brands . . . that have the baked-in ability to attract massive new audiences to our shows.
See, Hamilton didn’t have that brand built in from the get-go. Frozen and HP? There are people all over the world wearing t-shirts with the lead characters on them already.
And both attract family audiences (which means the next generation of theatergoers is about to be born).
So if you think it’s a good time on Broadway right now?
You ain’t seen nothing yet. Expect to see the first $4mm week next year at this time. And yes, a rising tide will lift all boats and all of Broadway.
There’s only one thing that could take the wind out of the sails on those boats. But I’m not going to talk about that.
I will talk about an interesting phenomenon that this gold-rush landscape will create for new musicals tomorrow.
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