2013-2014 Broadway Season Breaks Box Office Record, But Were Increased Ticket Prices Responsible? [UPDATE: Yes]

broadway-ticket-prices

UPDATE: And the higher ticket prices are indeed the reason. According to the Los Angeles Times, the average price paid for a ticket (musical, play, or special) rose $5.46 to $103.88, the first time it has topped $100. Average price has increased over 33% since the 2008-09 season, which had an average price of $77.66 a ticket. What a bargain!

Broadway producers are definitely beaming today after The Broadway League released its official statistics for the 2013-14 season (which spanned from May 27, 2013 to May 25, 2014). Capping off with the highest-attended Memorial Day weekend in Broadway history, the 2013-2014 season yielded an all-time record $1.27 billion in grosses with a total attendance of 12.21 million, the sixth highest attended season in history.

The Broadway League also touted in its press release that “44 productions opened during the 2013-2014 season which included 16 musicals (12 new, 4 revivals), 25 plays (10 new, 14 revivals, 1 return engagement), and 3 specials.” Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League, also credited increasingly varied matinee performance schedules, varied curtain times, and increased ticket-buying options for helping increase attendance by offering more choices to theatergoers.

Though the total attendance increased 5.6% from last season’s 11.57 million, it was lower than the total attendance of the 2011-12 season (12.33 million) and the 2010-11 season (a record 12.53 million). One factor that helped was the increase in “playing weeks” in 2013-2014 over the previous season’s. Playing weeks are the total amount of full weeks that Broadway productions ran. In 2012-13, Hurricane Sandy and several unsuccessful productions led to a 16-year low of 1430 playing weeks, while this season rebounded with 1496 playing weeks. That is still less than the number of playing weeks of the 2011-12 and 2010-11 seasons, but it certainly is welcome news to producers.

So how did Broadway achieve it’s all-time highest grosses if it was only the sixth-highest attended season? Though the Broadway League hasn’t yet released its detailed report, it’s safe to assume that ticket prices again saw a sizable increase. Last season was the first in which the average paid admission for a musical was over $100 ($102.45, to be exact) and average paid admission for a Broadway ticket (musical, play, or special) was a record-shattering $98.42. Because the total attendance was not record setting, the 11.4% increase in gross from last season likely came down to increased ticket prices. For example, the top ticket price for Kinky Boots, which won the Best Musical Tony last year, increased from $227 to its current price of $349.

Regardless, it is absolutely great news for Broadway heading into the Tonys even if it isn’t the best news for the wallets of Broadway fans.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/steve-buscemi-boardwalk-empire.jpg
Steve Buscemi’s “Ask Me Anything” Chat on Reddit: “I don’t think you can point to any one character and say that that’s ‘me'”
"With any role I play, I only have myself" - Steve Buscemi
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/sally-field-hello-my-name-is-doris.jpg
Sally Field On Improvisation, How She Chooses Her Roles and ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’
“There’s a dearth of roles for women. I turn down a lot of stuff because there’s just nothing in it for me to do.” – Sally Field   Actress Sally Field put in an appearance at SXSW last week to promote her new film, Hello My Name is Doris. Michael Showalter has directed the movie […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Will-Ferrell-Get-Hard.jpg
Will Ferrell on His Comedy Roots, ‘Get Hard’ and His Favorite Roles to Play
Ferrell was on hand to take part in a Q&A and spoke more about how working with Hart came about. When asked if he chooses his projects based on who he wants to work with, or the script itself, Ferrell explained that each project was different.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/daniel-dae-kim.jpg
Hawaii Five-0’s Daniel Dae Kim Talks Directorial Debut: “The first day I had to yell action, it was kind of odd”
Hawaii Five-0‘s Daniel Dae Kim, who fans know best as Chin Ho Kelly, recently made his directorial debut on the CBS series. Kim shared his experience with The Hollywood Reporter, saying that his experience was “weird at first,” as he had to direct his co-stars. “The first day I had to yell action, it was […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Ellie-Kemper-Unbreakable-Kimmy-Schmidt.jpg
Ellie Kemper on ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, Doomsday Cults and Tina Fey
When Ellie Kemper joined The Office in season 5, her character Erin Hannon wasn’t intended to be one of the show’s primary characters. However, Kemper won producers over with her portrayal of the cheerful, naive receptionist and Erin was heavily featured in the series’ final seasons. Her portrayal also impressed 30 Rock producers Tina Fey […]