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‘Here Lies Love’ finishes with highest-grossing, best-attended week; Thanksgiving boosts Broadway to highest grossing week of the season to date

For the week ending Nov. 26, the 26 currently running productions grossed $34,512,033.

(L-R) Arielle Jacobs and Jose Llana in “Here Lies Love” on Broadway, 2023 (Billy Bustamante, Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman)

In a week that encompassed the Thanksgiving holiday, Broadway saw its highest-grossing week of the 2023-2024 season to date. Twenty-two of the 26 productions currently playing saw an increase in gross, with all productions totaling $34,512,033. For the week ending Nov. 26, there were 228,711 admissions. 

Though Broadway’s box office increased over the week prior, it did not see the Thanksgiving gross figures of pre-pandemic. During Thanksgiving week 2019, Broadway took in a gross of over $40 million, following an all-time high of $43 million during Thanksgiving 2018. However, this week’s gross of $34.5 million represents a 27.5% increase from the week prior.

Twenty-six productions played last week, which is below average for Thanksgiving. Between 2012 and 2022, there have been on average 34 productions offered on the Main Stem during this time period, which contributes to the lower total gross. This season also has the unusual distinction of having three limited runs close the week prior to Thanksgiving (“Jaja’s African Hair Braiding,” “Melissa Etheridge: My Window” and “The Shark is Broken”). In most years, the number of shows playing either remains constant or slightly increases between these two weeks.

Despite all this, this week’s ticket holders filled seats to 90.4% capacity, a number that is well above the average 84% for the last 10 Thanksgiving holidays.

“The Lion King” was the week’s top earner, taking in $2,912,593. The other two highest-grossing shows were “Wicked” ($2,573,538) and “Hamilton” ($2,293,884).

“Sweeney Todd” and “Merrily We Roll Along” joined “The Lion King,” “Wicked” and “Hamilton” in earning over $2 million. “Sweeney” took in 2,027,611, while “Merrily”’s gross of $2,046,288 broke another box office record, and marks the first time any production has breached the $2 million mark at the Hudson Theatre.

Ten other shows took in over $1 million: “Aladdin,” “Back to the Future,” “Gutenberg! The Musical!,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “MJ,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “SIX,” “Spamalot,” “The Book of Mormon” and “& Juliet,” that latter of which earned $1,459,276, a new record for an eight-performance week at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

On the other end of the spectrum, “How to Dance in Ohio” ($254,639), “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch” ($474,394), “Harmony” ($522,102) and grossed the least. “How to Dance in Ohio” played its six previews to 73% capacity, while “Purlie Victorious” and “Harmony” played eight performances to 54% and 58% capacity, respectively.

“Merrily We Roll Along” posted an average paid admission of $264.79, the highest of any show, followed by “The Lion King" ($216.68) and “Hamilton” ($214.06). In its second week of previews, “How to Dance in Ohio” had the week’s lowest average paid admission: $58.81.

In its final week on the Main Stem, “Here Lies Love” saw not only its highest grossing week of its run — taking in $970,111 — but also its best-attended week. The musical, which closed on Nov. 26, welcomed 8,775 admissions, filling the Broadway Theatre to 99.6% capacity.

In addition to “Here Lies Love,” 17 other shows filled their seats to 90% capacity or higher: “Aladdin,” “Back to the Future,” “Gutenberg! The Musical!,” “Hadestown,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “I Need That,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” “MJ,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “SIX,” “Spamalot,” “The Book of Mormon,” “The Lion King,” “Wicked,” “& Juliet,” “Hamilton,” “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Sweeney Todd,” the latter four which filled their respective theaters to 100% capacity or more.

Season to date, there have been 6,266,119 attendances so far this season, which is 3.2% ahead of last season’s admissions. Gross-wise, the 2023-2024 season is unchanged compared to the 2022-2023 season: Gross to date totals $769,657,462, which is 0.1% behind the $770,487,751 gross total at this time last year.