Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Billion Dollar Broadway Baby? Almost.

Billion Dollar Broadway Baby? Almost.

Last year was a banner year for Broadway, particularly considering its record-setting grosses that came in at close to $1 billion.

According to Playbill, the League of American Theatres and Producers has tallied up the 2006-07 Theatrical Season and found that box office grosses were at $939 million, up from last year's total of $861 million -- a 9.3% increases year over year. Attendance was also up by nearly 300,000 paying customers to 12.311 million theatregoers. Five million tickets were sold to tourists -- and I know at least a couple of them who made their tracks to the Great White Way for the very first time and loved every minute of it.

With several potentially strong blockbusters waiting in the wings for the new 2007-08 Theatrical Season (Young Frankenstein would surely rank as the most anticipated), Broadway may well be on track to eclipse this year's record-setting pace.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 31 May, 2007, Anonymous Esther said...

Yes, I did love every minute of it! In fact, one friend I told about my trip mentioned that she and her family had gone to New York a couple years ago but hadn't seen a show. I almost couldn't believe it. How could you go to New York and NOT see a show!!! If you're staying overnight, I think it should practically be a requirement. ;-) It's such an integral part of the New York experience, just like seeing the Statue of Liberty!

So, do you have any thoughts on the reasons behind the increase?

At 31 May, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I can't imagine anyone would visit New York or London without taking in at least one show!

As for the increase? Well, my blog began about a year ago....

Seriously, I think it has much to do with the variety of fare being offered -- I mean, where else could you get shows with ventriloquists and puppets, drag queens, musicals of every genre possible (including the big revivals of shows), and some of the biggest legends in theatre, all in one year?

Also, according to the same report I cited, "the number of playing weeks, described by the League as 'the sum total of all shows multiplied by the number of weeks each show played,' was the second highest on record: 1,509 playing weeks. The record high was set during the 2002-2003 season (1,544 weeks)."

At 31 May, 2007, Anonymous Esther said...

Oh Steve, don't be modest. Of course you played a role!

While I originally just wanted to go see Kevin Spacey, once I started reading in your blog, and others, about all the other great shows, I just wanted to see everything! In fact, the list of what I didn't want to see was a lot shorter! I'm just amazed at the variety, and I wonder, is it this good every year?

I wonder if part of the reason is simply higher ticket prices bringing in more money? Also, I wonder whether more tourists are coming from Europe to take advantage of the weaker dollar?

Still, I think lots of homegrown travelers are making the trip. I routinely check out some travel message boards, and it seems like everyone planning a trip to New York wants to take in a Broadway show.

I hope part of the increase is from people just realizing that New York City is a safe, friendly, amazing place to visit.

At 31 May, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Yeah, and I'll also win the Tony this year!

Ticket prices are indeed higher, but again, the number of theatregoers has actually climbed to, including well over a million international travelers who have made pilgrimages to Broadway.

Let's hope the value of the dollar continues to inspire those from around the globe to place NYC on their upcoming itineraries.


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