With Springsteen on Broadway, Mean Girls, and Harry Potter and The Cursed Child debuting, critics had high expectations for the 2017 – 2018 Broadway season, but, sales jumped over 14 percent and broke records – pulling in $1.65 billion.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that 10 years ago, it would be rare to see a show garner $1 million during its standard week, however last week alone, 18 productions hit that mark. A lot of sales this year can be credited to Springsteen on Broadway; The Boss’ show grossed nearly $61 million since its debut in October, making it the top-grossing new production this season.
Additionally, as the Tony Awards approach, sales have been increasing dramatically. Shows like Spongebob and The Band’s Visit gained more exposure after their Tony nomination, and other productions like Lobby Hero, Me and My Girl, and Miss You Like Hell racked in some sales before they near their end this summer.
Amid the record-breaking sales however, admission has been lacking. While the 2016-2017 season saw 13.27 million total admission, the current season is just under 13.48, according to the Reporter. This means that this boost in sales is coming from Mean Girls, Harry Potter, The Boys in the Band, and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical premium tickets, with Donna Summer taking in more than $1 million a week. This year’s productions were also familiar among theatre-goers, with The Band’s Visit, Frozen, Mean Girls, and Spongebob Squarepants all adapted from TV or film.
The 72nd Tony Awards are set to take place on June 10 at Radio City Music Hall, co-hosted by Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles. Mean Girls and Spongebob are up for 12 awards each, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. The Children, Farinelli and The King, Harry Potter, Junk, and Latin History for Morons have been nominated for Best Play.
This season seems like it would be hard to beat, but the 2018-2019 season offers a variety of original plays and a number of highly-anticipated debuts. To Kill A Mockingbird, Pretty Woman, King Kong, Moulin Rouge! and The Cher Show are on the bill later this year, along with Magic Mike, 13 Going on 30, and The Devil Wears Prada in the works.