Broadway Box Office Surges Along With Holiday Ticket Prices; ‘Funny Girl’, ‘Beetlejuice’, ‘Six’ Among Shows Smashing House Records; ‘Lion King’ Takes $4.3M

by Faraz Buck

Big holiday ticket prices, bonus performances and large audiences spurred a hefty surge of nearly 50% in Broadway box office last week (ending Jan. 1) over the previous week, with productions including Funny Girl, MJ, Six, Beetlejuice and Juliet among the shows smashing house records.

With 20 of the 33 shows adding a ninth holiday-week performance to the usual eight-performance schedule, and overall ticket prices up 14% for the New Year’s week, Broadway grossed an impressive $51,912,226, a jump of 49% from the week ending Dec. 25. Attendance was up 31% to 311,447. Broadway’s average ticket price, with premium holiday prices figures in, was $166.68, compared to $146.02 the previous week.

In all, about 92% of the week’s Broadway seats were occupied, compared to 84% during Christmas week.

And compared to last year’s New Years week box office tally of $26M, the industry was up a huge 97%.

The full houses and higher prices resulted in the expected raft of broken house records. Among the shows setting new box office tally highs at their respective venues were:

  • Six, selling out at the recently renamed Lena Horne Theater and grossing $1,649,206 for eight performances, besting the previous record of $1,626,478 set by Waitress in January 2018 at the then-named Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Average ticket price was $200, up from $160 the previous week;
  • Funny Girl set a new box office record at the August Wilson Theatre, grossing $2,405,901 for a nine-performance week. The revival set the previous house record with an eight-performance take of $2,005,696 in December. Average ticket price last week was $235, up from $223;
  • Beetlejuice set a new nine-performance record at the Marquis with $2,462,831. The number was accomplished even without star Alex Brightman in the title role (the actor suffered a concussion during an on-stage mishap during the Christmas Eve performance); average ticket jumped $40 to $169;
  • Juliet broke the nine-performance record at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre with a take of $1,639,788. The previous record of $1,546,950 was set by Beautiful in 2014, and a rep for Juliet notes that the accomplishment was achieved with a lower holiday premium price ($325 compared to Beautiful‘s $350). The average ticket price for Juliet was $177, only a bit higher than the Carole King musical’s $175;
  • MJ broke its 10th house record at the Neil Simon Theatre with a take of $2,223,069; average ticket was $200;
  • Chicago bested its own holiday week record, set in pre-pandemic 2017 at the Ambassador Theatre, with a gross of $1,299,400 and a $132 average ticket price.

Also of note, The Piano Lesson was one of the highest grossing non-musical plays of the week with a take of $1,140,437 at the Ethel Barrymore, making the revival the highest grossing August Wilson play ever on Broadway. The production has been extended through January 29. The non-musical Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took in $2.7M for the week, a figure the productions says is the highest weekly gross for a non-musical in Broadway history, breaking its own record set in 2018.

Other shows in the $1 million+ holiday club were: A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical ($1,425,882); Aladdin ($2,849,723); Almost Famous ($1,055,042); Hadestown ($1,279,810); Hamilton ($2,740,599); Into the Woods ($1,892,625); Moulin Rouge! ($1,975,132); Some Like It Hot ($1,176,786); The Book of Mormon ($1,680,124); The Lion King (with an amazing $4,315,264 and average ticket of $285); The Music Man ($3,971,531, average ticket also $285); The Phantom of the Opera ($2,788,017); and Wicked ($3,152,679).

A Christmas Carol starring Jefferson Mays played its final week, slipping by just over $200,000 from Christmas Week to $522,424.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $965,623,088, with total attendance of 7,442,244 at about 87% of capacity.

All figures courtesy of The Broadway League. For the complete box office listings, visit the League’s website.