Select Broadway shows were nominated for the annual Tony Awards last week, and with the announcement came a staggering increase in box office sales.
Theatregoers took to the ticketing platform TodayTix after nominees were announced, causing a major boost in ticket sales for shows that were already garnering attention. Forbes reports that The Band’s Visit, for example, had a huge sales rise by 543 percent last Thursday and Friday, compared to the previous week. Additionally, sales for SpongeBob SquarePants rose by 337 percent, Mean Girls by 146 percent, and Frozen by 72 percent.
TodayTix’s chief executive officer told Forbes that although a show already had a lot of attention sales-wise, the nominations “have blown the roof off even that high building.”
“The Tony Awards do two things,” Fenty explained. “It obviously helps the nominees, but the other thing that we have seen every year consistently is that a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Not only did these certain shows boost in sales, but Broadway as a whole became more popular on the ticketing platform. Forbes states that there was an instant 29.5 increase in overall ticket sales, compared to the week before. Last Friday, 50,000 more customers accessed the site than usual, and people ordered tickets to a variety of shows across the spectrum.
According to a 2009 study where two economists researched Broadway box office revenues over a decade, they found that a Tony nomination is positive during the week of the announcement, and sales increase up until the awards ceremony. Over time, the interest rises and so does revenue.
Variety reported last week that even without the Tony nominations, shows like Harry Potter, Frozen, and Mean Girls would still sell well, as these shows have taken the top Broadway spots. SpongeBob SquarePants on the other hand, definitely gained some exposure with the Tony nomination, as well as The Band’s Visit, which sat right at $908,565 before the nomination. These wide range of sales between big and smaller Broadway shows brought a sense of unity to the industry.
Ticket sales are only expected to increase from here; this year marks the end of multiple Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, and fans will scramble to get tickets before the time is up. Lobby Hero, Harry Clarke, Me and My Girl, Miss You Like Hell, Bobbie Clearly, Transfers, The Seafarer, and Mlima’s Tale are set to close this summer, while Saint Joan, Travesties, Three Tall Women, Angels In America, In & Of Itself, Hello, Dolly! and Springsteen on Broadway will wrap up toward the end of 2018.
This might just be the year that theater takes over sales completely while recently released acts bring in sales and huge audiences, and upcoming shows keep fans interested. Pretty Woman, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Prom will open later this year, and shows 13 Going On 30, Beetlejuice, 17 Again, and The Devil Wears Prada are currently in the works.