There have been many stories about how the movie industry is having a tough time recently. However, the same cannot be said about Broadway. People spent more money on plays and musicals on Broadway during the 2016-17 season than ever before in the history of Broadway. The grand total for the year was an astounding $1.45 billion. It is no surprise that this record was set the same year that “Hamilton” raised the price of premium seats to a record $849. The smash musical was having many seats sold for very high prices on the secondary market. The raise in prices was an attempt to get back some of that money from the scalpers.
It was the second consecutive year that more than 13 million people made their way to a Broadway show. The demand for great live shows is clearly very strong. It is also clear that the public has a lot of money to spend on live shows and they are willing to spend it on high ticket prices if the show is good enough. “Hamilton” made nearly $130 million during the year. It was by far the highest grossing Broadway show. “The Lion King” still has very strong drawing power after all these years. It raked in $104 million. This was followed on the list of highest earning musicals by “Wicked,” “Aladdin” and “The Book of Mormon.”
The high ticket prices at many of the Broadway shows have been a hot topic of discussion. However, it seems clear that the producers of very popular shows will continue to jack up the price of tickets until it becomes obvious that the public is no longer willing to pay that much. That is definitely not the case right now. One of the key reasons why Broadway has experienced a resurgence during the past two years has been many big stars. For example, Bette Midler is now starring in a production of the classic “Hello, Dolly!”