STATS REVEALED: Fewer shows close this January than in the last 10 years.

On Tuesday, I posted a theory in my weekly Broadway gross wrap up.

Ok, it wasn’t really a theory.  It was more like a feeling in my gut.  And frankly, I couldn’t tell if that feeling in my gut was the pizza I ate at midnight, or if I was really on to something.

So, I had my crackerjack research team (including our new intern Liana) do a bit of data digging to see if this theory was the result of some greasy pepperoni or an actual thing.

And this AM, they spit out some stats and voilà . . . it looks like, as a therapist would say, my feelings were valid.

What I hypothesized was that this year had the fewest closings in January we’ve had in a long time.  See, normally shows seem to shutter quickly after the holidays.  But this year it seemed like more shows were sticking it out . . . stretching to MLK Day and Broadway Week, and now beyond.

And, as you’ll see in the blog below, that’s exactly what happened!

This January, we only saw 3 shows close, which is the LOWEST number of shows we’ve had in the last ten years.

In fact, an average of 8 shows closed in January over the last decade.  And this year, it wasn’t even half that.  (Non Profit closings weren’t included, by the way).  This past year was 62.5% less than the average.

Take a look . . .

Interesting trend, no?

But it doesn’t stop there.

I turned the time machine back another ten years to see how we stacked up against a longer era, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re way under that average of 6 shows closing in January over the last twenty years.

See for yourself.


What does all this mean?

It means that Broadway Week has helped.  It means more tourists are sticking around after Xmas (and tourism is up in general).  It also means that shows are getting smarter about pricing during this period to attract more buyers.

Oh, and it means even fewer theaters will be available to new spring shows.

(Do you like charts and graphs about the business of Broadway?  Check out The Recoupment Report, my quarterly newsletter dedicated to the art and commerce of investing on Broadway.  Click here for more info and to sign up.)

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  • Carvanpool says:

    Another swing and a miss. You theory is, as usual, a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

    The dearth of January closings is not a sign of anything other than how weak the previous season was.

    Bandstand, Sweat, Indecent, M. Butterfly, Great Comet, Doll’s House Part 2, War Paint all closed earlier than planned. In other years, some of these shows might have survived into the new year, but the carnage came early this year. That January had fewer closings means nothing when you add the necessary context.

    A real estate crunch? No, not so much this year. The Imperial lies fallow for months awaiting Carousel. So does the Booth, waiting for Boys in the Band. The Lyric and St. James, both empty for months. The Jacobs, dark for months. The Nederlander, dark for months. The Cort, dark with no known booking. The Broadway, dark for months after six weeks of Rocktopia. The Golden, dark for months.

    More like unused timeshares than a real estate crunch.

    Broadway, as usual, is a ghetto of big winners and also-rans. Nothing new about January.

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