Broadway's attendance soars but box office mostly flat

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Broadway’s attendance figures hit a record high this season, but box office revenue ticked upward only slightly.

The Broadway League said Monday that box offices reported a record total gross of $1.37 billion — up 0.6 per cent from the previous season, or about $8 million. The trade association for theatre owners, operators and producers said attendance was up 1.6 per cent to 13.3 million ticket buyers. Both numbers are new records.

The number of playing weeks — Broadway’s occupancy rate — was up 1.4 per cent from last season’s to end at 1,648, a new record. There is a total of 2,080 total playing weeks available each year.

Average paid admission for the season was $103.11, which represents a decrease for the first time. Last season’s average paid admission was $104.18.

A total of 39 shows opened during the season, which began May 31, 2015, and ended Sunday. There were 16 musicals, 20 plays and three special events. Last season saw 37 shows open.