Broadway Attendance Falls 6.2 Percent in 2012-13
Hits like "Lucky Guy" and "Matilda" couldn't help Broadway completely rebound from the box office dent left by Hurricane Sandy.
Grosses for shows in the 2012 to 2013 season were flat from the previous year while attendance dropped 6.2 percent, according to the Broadway League, a Great White Way trade association.
Broadway shows yielded $1.14 billion in grosses for the year, a 0.1 percent drop from the 2011 to 2012 season. Total attendance fell from 12.3 million to 11.6 million.
In Broadway time, the theatrical season runs from May 28, 2012 and ended May 26, 2013.
The organization also stressed that ticket sales were slowed by the devastation wrought by Sandy and several performances were canceled as the city dug out from the damage.
"Each season has unique factors that contribute to the overall story," Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League, said in a statement to TheWrap. "In the fall, our grosses and attendance numbers were above last fall's numbers until Hurricane Sandy devastated our region. The lost performances and the understandable slower return to Broadway by our Tri State area theatergoers contributed to the decline in both grosses and attendance."
In addition to inclement weather, there were also a number of box office failures like "Chaplin" and "Dead Accounts" and several of the bigger shows such as "Matilda" and "Kinky Boots" premiered in the spring, which meant their high grosses did not contribute as significantly to the annual bottom line.
All told, there were 46 new shows that opened during the 2012-2013 season: 15 musicals (9 of them original productions), 26 plays (14 original), and 5 special performance.
The 26 plays produced this season is a record number. The previous record for plays produced in a season was 25 in 2010 to 2011. Musicals tend to play much better on Broadway than straight plays and are much more popular with producers.