The 2018-2019 Broadway season has hit a new historic box office record, bringing in $1.8 billion in sales.
While the industry often calls out secondary markets for high-priced Broadway tickets, primary markets seem to be doing just fine, as this season brought in its largest sales record ever, along with over 14 million theater-goers in attendance. This year’s sales jumped 8 percent from last year at $1.6 billion, and attendance increased about 7 percent, topping last year’s count of 13.7 million, Deadline reports.
“The trend is clear: Broadway has never been more appealing to so many different people, ranging from kids to grandparents and everyone in between,” Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement. “This substantial growth in attendance clearly reflects the large variety of offerings including long-running shows, new hit productions and stories relevant to our society today. This coupled with the fact that over 50% of tickets are priced below $101, the industry is achieving its goal of being more accessible to everyone.”
This season featured a variety of hit shows, including the Lyric Theatre’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which grossed a record of $105.1 million in sales this year, making it the first Broadway play to gross over $100 million in one year, producers said. Other new plays which topped sales include To Kill a Mockingbird, Network, Hadestown, and the Temptations’ Ain’t Too Proud, as well as ongoing hits Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, The Phantom of the Opera, Dear Evan Hansen, The Lion King, Aladdin, and Wicked.
The Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden on June 9, will honor the top shows of the year. Ain’t Too Proud, Beetlejuice, Tootsie, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Boys in the Band, and The Cher Show are among the nominated plays.
The upward trend will likely continue as the 2019-2020 season has even more shows to offer. This October, Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei will star in The Rose Tattoo, while Tony Award-winning actress Mary-Louis Parker will take on the lead role in The Sound Inside. Hugh Jackman will return to Broadway for The Music Man, and multiple artists will perform Broadway residencies as a part of the In Residence on Broadway series at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Additionally, many shows are in the works, including a Mrs. Doubtfire musical and Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook.