Broadway has yet again hit its highest-grossing season on record.
Across the 2017-2018 season, Broadway shows brought in $1.7 billion with total attendance of 13.8 million. This marked a 17.1% increase in grosses, with attendance increasing 3.9%.
This milestone came among a sparse season that saw 33 productions open, compared with 45 in the previous season, 39 in the 2015-2016 season and 37 in the 2014-2015 season.
While there were fewer openings, the entrance of “Springsteen on Broadway” provided weekly multi-million-dollar boosts — despite Springsteen playing five shows or less a week — while “Frozen,” among others, repeatedly broke house records, as did “Hello, Dolly!” during the last few months of Bette Midler’s original run.
The 2017-2018 season was longer than years past, at 53 weeks rather than 52. But for comparison’s sake, at the 52-week mark, this season’s Broadway attendance was 13.5 million, up 1.6% over last year’s 52-week season, and grosses totaled $1.66 billion, up 14.4% over last season.
Among the season’s 33 openings were 10 musicals, seven of which were originals and three revivals, 20 plays — 10 original, 10 revivals — and three special engagements.
The Broadway League emphasized the growing attendance, as well as affordable price points.
“Over 80% of the shows on Broadway had an average paid admission of under $130 and more than half of the shows that played this season (60%) had an average paid admission of less than $101,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, said in the press release. “Since our last 53 week season, our attendance has grown 10% or 1.26 million theatregoers.”
The last two 53-week seasons were 2010-2011 and 2003-2004.