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Broadway enjoys best-attended week of the 2023-2024 season while box office gross jumps

For the week ending April 28, the 36 currently running productions grossed $37,553,464.

The company of “Illinoise,” Broadway, 2024 (Credit: Matthew Murphy)

During the 49th week of the 2023-2024 season, Broadway’s box office saw a strong uptick in gross and attendance. For the week ending April 28, Broadway collectively earned $37,553,464. This represents an 8.4% increase from the previous week. 307,754 admissions were made to Broadway, filling seats in theaters to 92% capacity.

The $37,600,000 box office total marks the third-highest-grossing week of the 2023-2024 season. This is particularly significant given that the week ending April 28 encompassed seven Broadway openings, which bring along inevitably comped press performances. This week was also the best attended week of the season, surpassing the well-attended weeks that encompassed Easter and the winter holidays.

Twenty-six productions increased their box office take compared to the previous week. “Cabaret,” despite canceling one performance, saw the largest increase, earning an additional $878,611 for a total gross of $1,701,828. The revival, however, played six showings the week prior, two of which were entirely comped, compared to seven showings this week. Of the shows that played the same number of performances week-over-week, six increased by over $100,000: “A Beautiful Noise” (up $100,237 to $952,743 for eight performances), “Merrily We Roll Along” (up $151,133 to $1,464,492 for eight performances), “Sweeney Todd” (up $128,678 to $1,519,739 for seven performances), “The Heart of Rock and Roll” (up $109,306 to $371,485 for eight performances), “The Wiz” (up $129,525 to $1,611,118 for eight performances) and, in its final week on the Main Stem, “Kimberly Akimbo” (up $115,327 to $627,285 for eight performances).

In its first week on the Main Stem, the Broadway transfer of Sufjan Stevens’ dance musical “Illinoise” earned $728,487 for eight heavily comped performances.

“The Lion King” was the week’s top-earning show, posting a box office total of $2,196,518, making it the only show to exceed $2 million. The second- and third-highest-grossing shows were “Wicked” ($1,926,859) and “Hamilton” ($1,847,153), respectively. “Lempicka” had the most meager take, earning $288,102, its lowest-grossing week to date.

In addition to the top-three earners and the aforementioned “Cabaret,” “Merrily,” “Sweeney” and “Wiz,” 11 shows earned over $1 million, including “& Juliet” ($1,019,715), “Aladdin” ($1,439,978), “An Enemy of the People” ($1,089,583), “Back to the Future” ($1,091,853), “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” ($1,126,870), “Hell’s Kitchen” ($1,290,438), “MJ” ($1,600,374), “Moulin Rouge!” ($1,433,475), “The Who’s Tommy” ($1,064,542) and “Water for Elephants” ($1,038,304). “The Great Gatsby” took in $1,028,276, the only one of the seven shows that opened during the week ending April 28 to earn over $1 million.

Eighteen productions saw an increase in attendance. Of the shows that played the same number of performances as the week prior, “Harry Potter” had the biggest bump in attendance, welcoming an additional 971 admissions, for a total ticket tally of 11,409. The most notable decreases in attendance were seen by “Suffs” (down 1,214 admissions to 6,059) and “The Heart of Rock and Roll” (down 1,050 to 5,860).

“Cabaret” posted the highest average paid admission for the week: $227.06. The second and third slots were taken by “Merrily” ($189.50) and “Hamilton” ($177.20). With an average of $48.14 per attendance, “Lempicka” had the lowest average paid admission of any show, and was the only production to dip below $60.

As has been the case for every week of their respective runs, the revival of “Merilly” filled every seat of the Hudson Theatre, while standing-room attendees brought “An Enemy of the People”’s capacity to over 100%. “Cabaret” also exceed 100% capacity. Twenty-two shows filled their seats within the 90th percentile: “& Juliet,” “Aladdin,” “Back to the Future,” “Hadestown,” “Hamilton,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Illinoise,” “Mary Jane,” “MJ,” “Mother Play,” “Moulin Rouge,” “Patriots,” “Stereophonic,” “Sweeney Todd,” The Book of Mormon,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Lion King,” “The Notebook,” “The Outsiders,” “The Wiz,” “Uncle Vanya” and “Wicked.”

Season to date, Broadway remains behind the comparable point in time in the 2022-2023 season in terms of gross and attendance. However, the 2023-2024 season is inching closer to being on par with last season. Total gross so far for the season is $1,432,412,076, which is 3.4% behind last season. Attendance is a mere 0.6% behind, counting a total 11,418,278 admissions to date. Seats of all theaters have been filled to 89.6%, which is one percentage point ahead of 2022-2023.