The percentage of seats filled on Broadway increased last week, but overall box office receipts fell, as some of the industry’s lightest shows closed and others dropped in price.
According to figures released by the Broadway Federation on Wednesday, 75% of all seats on Broadway were occupied in the week ending January 23. This is up from 66% in the week ending January 16. January and 62% in the week ending January 9, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the industry and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant makes this winter particularly difficult.
Average attendance remains far below what it was in January 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic, when there were between 93% and 95% of seats.
Total attendance for a Broadway show last week (152,135) was down from last week (162,566), as shows continued to close – there were 21 shows open last week, down from 25 the week before before. Two other shows closed Sunday (“Girl From the North Country,” which said it plans to return in the spring, and “Slave Play,” which is moving to Los Angeles), with only 19 shows currently running. operates at 41 houses on Broadway.
The percentage increase in capacity is good news for an industry disturbed by empty seats. But it comes at a hefty price, with fewer shows running and average ticket prices falling.
Last week, the average ticket price on Broadway was $108, down from $114 for the week ending January 16 and $116 for the week ending January 9. (In 2020, the average ticket price January average is as high as $123.)
The falling average fare reflects both the premium discount (that’s the price for the best seats on the most popular nights) and the use of multiple discounts.
For example, at “Hamilton”, the highest price in January 2020 was $847; It’s now $299. (The top-of-the-line seating at the moment seems to be at “The Music Man,” which is asking for $699 for some center orchestra seats on a Saturday night in February;” Six” is selling some tickets for $499.)
But there are also many discounts available. The city’s tourism agency, NYC & Company, is currently hosting Broadway Week (despite its name, which will run for 27 days this year), a popular show that offers two-for-one tickets to all but a handful of shows.
And, although the Broadway League no longer releases grosses for individual shows, there are signs that many are turning to discounts as a strategy to weather this winter, when the drop Regular seasonal prices have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The TKTS ticket counter in Times Square, which sells tickets for 20% to 50% off, now periodically features “The Lion King,” the film that was almost never sold at the booth before the pandemic, as well as shows Other majors include “Moulin Rouge!,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Hadestown” and “MJ,” Michael Jackson’s new musical.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/26/theater/broadway-grosses-omicron.html Broadway Grossing declines, but average attendance increases, as the show ends