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‘A Beautiful Noise,’ ‘Harmony’ and ‘Ohio’ see largest gross increase as overall Broadway box office dips in traditional post-Thanksgiving decrease

For the week ending Dec. 3, the 26 currently running productions grossed $29,568,897.

Nick Fradiani in "A Beautiful Noise" (Creedit: Courtesy of DKC/O&M)

Broadway saw its usual box office dip in the week following Thanksgiving. For the week ending Dec. 3, the 26 currently running productions grossed $29,568,897, down from the Thanksgiving-buoyed gross of $34,512,033. There were 219,511 admissions on the Main Stem, down 4.0% from the week prior.

The drop in gross represents a 14.3% decrease from the previous week. This matches the average decrease of this time period almost exactly. Between 2012 and 2022 (not counting 2020 due to the Broadway shutdown), Broadway saw an average 14.4% drop in total gross for the week immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday. This week’s 4.0% dip in attendance is also on par with the 10-year average attendance decrease of 4.2%. 

Eighteen shows saw a decrease in gross compared to the week prior. On the other hand, “A Beautiful Noise,” “Harmony” and “How to Dance Ohio” were the only shows to see an increase of over $100,000.

“Harmony” saw an increase of $127,609, while “How to Dance in Ohio ” — which played eight previews compared to six the week before — saw an increase of $100,239. “A Beautiful Noise,” which celebrated its first anniversary on Broadway on Dec. 4, brought in the biggest increase of the week: $379,109. These musicals were among the sole four shows that marked a decrease during the Thanksgiving week, ending Nov. 26. The fourth show, “Purlie Victorious,” saw an increase of $75,855 for the week ending Dec. 3.

Despite the industry’s general drop in gross, more than half of all shows still grossed in excess of $1 million: “& Juliet,” “A Beautiful Noise,” “Aladdin,” “Back to the Future,” “Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” “MJ,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “SIX,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Book of Mormon.”

“The Lion King” and “Wicked” were not only the top two earners of the week, but both musicals grossed over $2 million, taking in $2,399,452 and $2,109,634, respectively.  

“Merrily,” which just announced its second extension at the Hudson Theatre, had the highest average paid admission for the week: $243.78, nearly $110 more than the average paid admission for all shows, which was $134.70. The second- and third-highest average paid admissions for the week belonged to “The Lion King” ($187.53) and “Hamilton” ($185.61). “Ohio,” on the other end of the spectrum, posted the week’s lowest average paid admission ($62.58).

The recently extended “Appropriate” had a strong showing in its first week of previews, with an average paid admission of $120.75 for seven performances. The Sarah Paulson-led play filled 98.3% of seats at the Hayes Theater.

In addition to “Appropriate,” 12 other shows filled their seats to 90% capacity or higher. “& Juliet,” “Aladdin,” “Hadestown,” “I Need That,” “MJ,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “SIX,” “The Book of Mormon,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” reached that benchmark, while “Hamilton” and “Merrily” saw seats filled to 100% capacity or higher.

The 2023-2024 Broadway season remains steady compared to last season to date. Attendance is up 2.4% over last year at this time, while gross is down 0.6%. Capacity-wise, seats have been filled to 88.0% so far this season, compared to 86.6% last year.