Billboard declared Bon Jovi the top-grossing tour of the year in the publication’s 2008 Year in Music report. The report, which also tracks top boxscores, new artists, and albums by genre, is based on data compiled by Billboard Boxscore from November 14, 1007, to November 11, 2008.
Reporting 99 performances and sell-outs, the reigning rock band’s Long Highway tour topped the charts with a gross total of $210.6 million and a total audience of 2,157,675. Bon Jovi opened the worldwide trek with a nine-show run at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, from October 26 through November 10, 2007.
The sales from that brief residency launched Bon Jovi’s tour into the Top 10 on TicketNews’s exclusive events ranking, where the band remained for all following weeks through the end of April 2008. However, due to Billboard‘s reporting restrictions, attendance and sales from the tour-opening Prudential shows did not count toward the 2008 report.
Second place on the top tour report goes to Bruce Springsteen, whose Magic tour grossed a total of $204.5 million over the course of 82 shows. Only 46 of the Boss’ performances sold out over the past year, but he wasn’t far behind Bon Jovi with a total attendance of 2,094,851 people.
Earlier this fall, Springsteen took home honors for Top Tour and Top Draw at the 2008 Billboard Touring Awards. However, the November 20 awards were based on box office performance from October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2008, thus allowing Bon Jovi a chance to top the Boss on the actual year-end report.
The top five top-grossing tours were rounded out with Madonna’s ongoing Sticky & Sweet tour at No. 3 with $185.7 million and 1,357,906 in attendance; The Police’s farewell tour at No. 4 with $149.6 million and 1,468,705 in attendance; and Celine Dion’s Taking Chances tour at No. 5 with $91 million and 738,947 in attendance.
Billboard‘s top boxscore report played out quite differently, though, ranking artists based on gross sales figures at individual venues throughout the tour. The Spice Girls reigned supreme on that chart, grossing $33.8 million (U.S.) over the course of their 17 sold-out reunion shows at the O2 Arena in London, England. The shows, promoted by AEG Live and SJM Concerts, had a total attendance of 256,647 in December 2007 and January 2008.
Singer Celine Dion came in at No. 2 for her eight sold-out shows at the Bell Centre in Montreal, which grossed $23.1 million and drew 167,957 audience members. Madonna and Bob Sinclair followed at No. 3 with two sellouts at the Stade De France in Paris, totaling $17.6 million and 138,163 in attendance. The Tennessee-based, four-day Bonnaroo Music Festival grabbed the No. 4 spot with a gross of $17 million and a capacity of 80,000 in attendance. Finally, Bruce Springsteen’s three-show sellout at Giants Stadium in New Jersey rounded out the top five with $14.2 million and 164,070 in attendance.