UPDATED with more figures throughout: Week 52, the final frame of the 2013-14 Broadway season, scored with the biggest-grossing and best-attended Memorial Day weekend ever. Crowds filled newcomers A Raisin In The Sun, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, All The Way and Of Mice And Men and joined such holdover hits as The Book Of Mormon, Matilda, Kinky Boots, The Lion King and Wicked, all of which were at or near SRO. Gross for the week was $31 million, over $5 million more than last year. Total take for the season was $1.27 billion, an 11.4% increase over last year, according to figures released by the Broadway League. Attendance was 12.21 million, as opposed to last season’s 11.57 million, but below 2011-12′s 12.33 million. All this despite some notable flops, including this spring’s The Bridges of Madison County and last fall’s Big Fish, together representing about $20 million worth of red ink. The League recorded 44 new productions for the season: 16 musicals, four of which were revivals and 1 return engagement; 25 plays, including 10 new, 14 revivals and one return engagement; and three special events.
“It’s been another amazing season, and Broadway is healthy and vibrant,” said League Exec Director Charlotte St. Martin. “With over a 5% increase in attendance, the diverse offerings on stage are clearly pleasing our audiences. As well, ticket buying is easier, and alternate curtain times and more selections of matinee days make seeing a show convenient for every schedule.” St. Martin was referring to the fact that a number of shows departed from the standard Broadway playing schedules with earlier curtain times and Thursday matinees.
Shows selling at or above their gross potential were Kinky Boots, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, A Raisin In The Sun, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, The Book Of Mormon and Wicked. Shows still looking for bigger audiences included If/Then (71% of gross potential), After Midnight (57.4%), Bullets Over Broadway (58.7%), Mothers And Sons (26%), Rocky (60%), The Cripple Of Inishmaan (63.4%) and Violet (53%).