Broadway Grosses Hit New High Over Holiday Week
'Wicked' chalked up the best Christmas-week box office, but 'The Lion King' is once again the year's top-selling show
Broadway for the first time topped $40 million in a single week over the holidays, with a whopping 19 productions grossing more than $1 million apiece, including three that pulled in north of $2 million.
While Wicked failed to repeat its record tally of $3 million for the corresponding week in 2013, the musical backstory of the witches from The Wizard of Oz led the field for the week ending Dec. 28, grossing $2,903,309.
However, The Lion King was just a whisker behind with $2,885,371, setting a new house record at the Minskoff Theatre. The Disney musical is poised to take the honors as the top-selling Broadway show of 2014, with an annual tally to date of $100,158,793, inching ahead of Wicked with $94,611,397 for the second consecutive year.
Rounding out the year's top five will be The Book of Mormon with $86,636,297; Kinky Boots with $68,541,183; and Aladdin with $59,050,157. The latter Disney musical, which opened in March, is the only new show to crack the top five.
Grosses for the calendar year are set to hit a new high, with a total to date of 13.13 million admissions and box office of $1.361 billion. That's up from 11.58 million ticket sales and $1.193 billion in receipts for 2013. The increased prevalence of premium-priced seats to tough-ticket shows has been instrumental in driving up revenues.
Over the lucrative Christmas week, Aladdin also broke the weekly house record at the New Amsterdam Theatre, earning $1,986,322. Other house records were set by the touring magic spectacular The Illusionists — Witness the Impossible at the Marquis ($1,811,228); A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder at the Walter Kerr ($1,062,731); and The Elephant Man at the Booth ($1,058,547).
Several shows add extra performances over the holidays, pushing the week's total box office to $40,993,950 for 36 productions, and generating 318,721 admissions. That marks a boost from the same week in 2013, which totaled $38,783,854, with 290,386 admissions.
In addition to Wicked and The Lion King, the third show to gross more than $2 million last week was The Book of Mormon, with $2,085,228.
Other shows that went north of $1 million for the week included The Phantom of the Opera ($1,641,020); Matilda ($1,637,071); Beautiful ($1,546,950); Kinky Boots ($1,532,084); It's Only a Play ($1,431,961); Cinderella ($1,336,544); Les Miserables ($1,286,276); Motown: The Musical ($1,285,105); Jersey Boys ($1,239,004); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ($1,090,216); On the Town ($1,068,470); and Cabaret ($1,013,897).