Broadway Grosses Analysis: Back to the Future Continues to Beat a Summer Slump

This post was originally published on Playbill - News

Written by: Logan Culwell-Block


Broadway Grosses Analysis: Back to the Future Continues to Beat a Summer Slump. The stage adaptation of the 1985 movie only played six performances last week, but still was a top grosser.

Graphic by Vi Dang

Audiences are flocking to the Winter Garden Theatre to see the brand-new stage adaptation of Back to the Future, which began previews June 30. The show, already an Olivier winner from its 2021 West End premiere, joined the $1 Million Club in its first week of previews despite only giving four performances. Last week, the show offered six performances and continued to prove itself one of Broadway’s newest box-office successes, bringing in $1,222,730.90. That total placed the show in the top 10 highest-grossing productions of the week, and that’s with two less performances than most other Broadway shows (productions typically perform eight times a week). While we don’t know what the musical’s advance sales look like, all roads point to the production being Broadway’s newest top grosser. The musical will play its first eight-performance week next week.

But Back to the Future‘s fortunes rose as numbers otherwise fell for Broadway, with the overall grosses dropping by nearly 14%. While that’s a sharp decline, it’s not exactly unexpected. Theatregoers had three fewer shows to pick from last week following a deluge of closings the week before, and that likely explains most of, if not all of, that decline. Attendance dropped, too, though not by quite as much—just over 11%. Average ticket prices stayed more or less steady at $119, and 86% of seats were filled. It’s a true summer slump—you’ll notice our $1 Million and 90s Clubs are slimmer than normal, but, of course, a slew of new shows are waiting in the wings to start performances and turn that around in short order.

Family shows are predictably continuing to be hot summer tickets, with The Lion KingWicked, and Aladdin all making the top five highest-grossing shows last week. All three also topped the attendance list, with Wicked playing to 14,866 theatregoers over eight performances. Large seating capacity, as always, helps all of these metrics considerably, but The Lion King did itself one better with the top average ticket price of the week: $190.78—and that’s an averageBack to the Future may also be riding the wave of being a solid choice for the child theatregoer, and it certainly looks like there’s enough demand there to support all of these shows. Even Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, another family favorite, brought in an impressive $1.46 million last week, and it ranked number four on the list of total seats sold.

Take a look at the full report here.

The $1 Million Club (shows that earned $1 million or more at the box office): (12 of 30 currently running productions)
The 90s Club (shows that played to 90% or higher of their seats filled over the entire week): (14 of 33 currently running productions)

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