Bon Jovi finds top-grossing tour spot for '08

Lost Highway trek, at $211 mil, edges Bruce Springsteen

NASHVILLE -- Bon Jovi's Lost Highway tour tops the list of the biggest tours of 2008, based on data reported to Billboard Boxscore from Nov. 14, 2007, through Nov. 11, 2008. The trek, promoted in North America and Europe by AEG Live, grossed $210.6 million and drew 2,157,675 fans.

In second place is Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's Magic tour, which grossed $204.5 million during the period. Springsteen reported another $31 million the previous year, taking his two-year Boxscore total to more than $235 million.

Rounding out the top 10 are Madonna ($162 million for the ongoing Sticky & Sweet tour), the Police ($150 million for the second leg of their reunion tour), Celine Dion ($91 million), Kenny Chesney ($86 million), Neil Diamond ($81.2 million), Spice Girls ($70 million), Eagles ($56.6 million) and Rascal Flatts ($55.8 million).

Spice Girls' 17 sellouts at London's O2 Arena last December-January were the year's highest-grossing engagement, taking in $33.8 million and drawing 256,647. Other top Boxscores for the year were Dion at the Bell Centre in Montreal ($23.1 million), Madonna at Stade de France in Paris ($17.6 million), Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn. (about $17 million) and Springsteen at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. ($14.2 million).

For the overall touring industry, grosses reported to Billboard Boxscore totaled nearly $4 billion worldwide, the most to date for a year and up nearly 13% over the previous year.

But global reported concert attendance is practically flat, with 6% fewer shows. And North American concert attendance is down nearly 2%, after a nearly 20% decrease the previous year, continuing a troubling trend.

Better news is evident on a show-by-show basis: Average boxoffice gross in North America is up 18%, and average attendance is up 6.3%, reflecting that some of the attendance decline can be attributed to the show-count decrease.