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‘Harmony’ and ‘Purlie Victorious’ have highest-grossing weeks to date, as nearly every Broadway show sees increased attendance

For the week ending Jan. 28, the 25 currently running productions grossed $24,615,726.

Chip Zien in "Harmony" (Credit: Julieta Cervantes)

Broadway’s box office bounced back during week 36 of the 2023-2024 season. Following a week when the industry saw a significant dip in both gross and attendance, Broadway overall saw an uptick. During the week ending Jan. 28, Broadway shows grossed a total of $24,615,726, representing a 4.4% increase from the week prior. Attendance saw a rise of 6.5%, with 217,847 admissions being counted on the Main Stem. Those 218,000 attendances filled 91.8% of all available seats, up 5.4% from the previous week.

During the second week of NYC Broadway Week, where select shows offer two-for-one tickets, 16 out of the 25 currently running shows increased their gross from the week prior. Five shows had an increase of over $100,000, including “A Beautiful Noise” (a rise of $104,082) and “Gutenberg! The Musical!” ($298,873). Additionally, the three shows with impending closing dates also enjoyed a sizable increase: “Harmony” ($166,717), “How to Dance in Ohio” ($120,693) and “Purlie Victorious” ($152,015). With a gross totaling $707,077 and $648,792, respectively, “Harmony” and “Purlie” both saw their highest-grossing weeks to date. “How to Dance in Ohio”’s gross of $503,735 was the second-highest of its run.

“Gutenberg!,” taking in $1,462,227, broke the house record in its final week at the James Earl Jones Theatre. The musical, which completed its limited run on Jan. 28, recently announced recoupment.

Another house record was broken at the Helen Hayes Theater. “Appropriate,” the Branden Jacobs-Jenkins play starring Sarah Paulson, took in $787,290 across eight performances, marking the highest weekly gross of any show in the history of the 112-year old venue.

“Hamilton” was the week’s top earner, taking in $1,725,790. The second- and third-highest grossing shows were “The Lion King” ($1,701,309) and “Wicked” ($1,634,334). “Days of Wine and Roses,” which opened on Jan. 28 at Studio 54, was the week’s lowest-grosser at $382,042, and the only show to earn less than $500,000.

Besides the three top earners and the previously mentioned “Gutenberg!,” seven additional shows grossed over $1 million: “& Juliet” ($1,058,739), “Aladdin” ($1,120,150), “Back to the Future” ($1,036,005), “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” ($1,145,407), “Merrily We Roll Along” ($1,598,882), “MJ” ($1,349,620) and “Moulin Rouge!” ($1,120,097). For the second week in row, no show grossed over $2 million.

Attendance-wise, 22 out of the 25 currently running shows had an increase in admissions. Five shows had an increase in excess of 1,000 admissions compared to the previous week, including “A Beautiful Noise” (increase of 1,402), “Days of Wine and Roses” (1,205) and “How to Dance in Ohio” (1,526).  “Purlie” had an increase of 1,768 admissions, while “Harmony” saw a rise of 1,520; both shows enjoyed the best-attended week of their respective runs. 

In the first week of its extension beyond its original closing date of Jan. 21, the revival of “Merrily We Roll Along” posted an average paid admission of $206.89, the second-lowest of the show’s run to date. Nevertheless, this is the highest of any show this week. “Appropriate” had the second-highest average paid admission at $172.12. In its first time in the top three, “Gutenberg!” took the third-place spot with an average admission of $168.87. At an average cost of $102.87 per ticket, the Broadway transfer of the Joshua Harmon drama “Prayer for the French Republic” commanded an average paid admission over $100 for the first time in its run. The lowest average paid admission of the week was seen by “Days of Wine and Roses” ($59.78).

Nineteen productions (six more than the previous week) filled their seats to 90% capacity or greater. Those shows included “& Juliet,” “Aladdin,” “Appropriate,” “Back to the Future,” “Hadestown,” “Hamilton,” “Harmony, “Harry Potter,” “Kimberly Akimbo,” “MJ,” “Moulin Rouge!” “Prayer,” “SIX,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Book of Mormon,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked.” “Merrily” reached 100% capacity, and “Gutenberg!” surpassed the benchmark with 101.7% of seats filled. Following three weeks in a row of capacity below 60%, “A Beautiful Noise” filled the seats of the Broadhurst Theatre to 70.9% capacity.

Season to date, Broadway has grossed $1,045,837,739. This is down 3.9% compared to this point in time last year. Attendance is slightly down (1.2%) from the 2022-2023 season, with 8,281,765 total admissions so far this season. Capacity, however, is up slightly (also 1.2%): to date, Broadway theaters have been filled to 88.7% capacity, compared to 87.4% last season.