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‘Merrily We Roll Along’ smashes another box office record as Broadway sees slight growth

For the week ending Oct. 22, the 28 currently running productions grossed $28,106,860.

(L-R) Reg Rogers as Joe Josephson, Katie Rose Clarke as Beth Shepard, Jonathan Groff as Franklin Shepard, Daniel Radcliffe as Charley Kringas and Lindsay Mendez as Mary Flynn in “Merrily We Roll Along” on Broadway, 2023 (Credit: Matthew Murphy)

In its fifth week on Broadway, the revival of “Merrily We Roll Along” has broken another box office record. The production previously broke the Hudson Theatre’s house record for the highest-grossing six-performance week and later exceeded the mark for the highest-grossing seven-performance week — both times beating out David Byrne’s “American Utopia.” For the week ending Oct. 22, “Merrily” bested the Hudson house record for the highest-grossing eight-performance week with a total of $1,820,753. That record was previously held by the Matthew Broderick- and Sarah Jessica Parker-led “Plaza Suite” ($1,708,386.60).

The overall Broadway box office grossed $28,106,860, compared to $27,400,791 the week prior. This marks a 2.6% increase. With the addition of the new musical “Harmony,” the number of productions increased from 27 to 28. 

Across Broadway, 224,832 attendees took in a show, 3.6% more than the week prior (217,118). Broadway was filled to 89.5% capacity, reflecting no change from the week before.

“Merrily” not only set a new benchmark at the Hudson, but the production saw one of the largest jumps at any Broadway box office, earning $113,791 more than the week prior, with the same number of performances. The Maria Friedman-directed revival also scored the top average ticket price on the Main Stem: $235.60.

Rounding out the top three for highest average ticket price were “Hamilton” ($168.37) and “Sweeney Todd” ($166.03). On the other end of the spectrum, the three shows garnering the lowest average ticket price were “Shucked” ($94.55), “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding” ($69.44) and “The Shark Is Broken” ($62.18).

The top-three earners for the week were “The Lion King” ($2,063,215), “Merrily” ($1,820,753) and “Wicked” ($1,809,977). “Merrily” was able to knock the other Sondheim revival, “Sweeney Todd,” out of the top three (a place it has occupied in many recent weeks). Earlier this week, “Sweeney” stars Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford announced their final performance date.

In total, 13 shows grossed more than $1 million: “& Juliet,” “A Beautiful Noise,” “Aladdin,” “Back to the Future,” “Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Merrily,” “MJ,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Lion King,” “The Book of Mormon” and “Wicked.”

On the opposite side, “Melissa Etheridge: My Window” ($231,628), “The Shark Is Broken” ($241,761) and “Jaja’s” ($348,453) grossed the least. 

However, “Jaja’s” was filled to 97.6% capacity. Sixteen other shows also sold at more than 90% capacity: “& Juliet,” “Aladdin,” “Back to the Future,” “Gutenberg!,” “Hadestown,” “I Need That,” “Kimberly Akimbo,” “MJ,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “SIX,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Book of Mormon,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked,” including “Merrily” filling to 100% capacity and “Hamilton” selling out at 101%. 

Of note, there were two capacities for “Wicked.” Four performances had 1,807 seats and four performances had 1,926 seats, for a total capacity of 14,932. The Broadway League noted that their weekly report “cannot accommodate both capacities, the figure 1,867 was used.”

In its first week of previews, “Harmony” grossed $491,766 across six performances. “I Need That” also remains in previews.