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12 productions break $1 million as Broadway box office sees increase

For the week ending Oct. 8, the 26 currently running shows grossed $26,973,476.

“The Lion King” on Broadway (Credit: Brinkoff-Mogenburg)

In the first full week of October, Broadway experienced a box office boost. Twelve of the 26 productions currently running grossed over $1 million, with “The Lion King” breaking $2 million.

In total, the Broadway box office took in $26,973,476 — a 16.7% bump from the prior week. Additionally, Broadway saw fuller houses, totaling 89.1% capacity — a 5.2% increase. The average ticket price across Broadway was $127.31. The number of productions remained the same between the two weeks.  

In addition to “The Lion King,” these 11 shows grossed more than $1 million: “& Juliet,” “Aladdin,” “Back to the Future,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” “MJ,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Book of Mormon.” 

The top-three earners were “The Lion King” ($2,321,581), “Wicked” ($1,926,142) and “Hamilton” ($1,880,390). Last week, “The Lion King” and “Hamilton” were both in the top three, but, this week, “Wicked” earned a spot alongside them — ousting “Sweeney Todd.”

The three productions that saw the biggest gross increase were “Wicked” (up $505,774), “The Lion King” (up $398,318) and “Harry Potter” (up $398,141). Of note, “Wicked” has ramped up its visibility through advertising and partnerships as the musical approaches its 20th anniversary on Broadway on Oct. 30. “Harry Potter” launched special events throughout October in celebration of Halloween. 

In terms of attendance, 15 shows played to 90% capacity or greater: “& Juliet,” “Aladdin,” “Back to the Future,” “Gutenberg!,” “Hadestown,” “Hamilton,” “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding,” “MJ,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “SIX,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Book of Mormon,” “The Lion King,” “Wicked” and the 100% filled-to-capacity “Merrily.” 

“Jaja’s African Hair Braiding,” which officially opened on Oct. 3, played to 97.6% capacity at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Its grosses remain low, earning $259,875 (up $66,256 from the prior week).

Similarly, “Melissa Etheridge: My Window” is seeing low totals at the till. The Grammy Award winner’s autobiographical show grossed $192,267 (up $13,154 from the prior week). Attendance was at 62.8% capacity.

Also on the low end of attendance, “Purlie Victorious” was filled to 60.6% capacity last week and “The Shark Is Broken” at only 58%. 

In terms of average ticket price, on the lower end, “Jaja’s” garnered an average ticket price of $51.79, “The Shark Is Broken” an average of $68.28 and “Here Lies Love” $89.65. On the high end, “Merrily” earned the highest average ticket price at $184.03; “Hamilton” followed with $178.29 and “The Lion King” at $171.89.

Two shows remained in previews: “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Gutenberg!”

While Broadway’s total box office improved week over week, the overall total is down from the comparable week in 2022. During this week last year, Broadway brought in $29,063,457 — a 7.2% increase over this year — with one less production running (25).