Broadway 2012-2013: The Year In Numbers
Success in the arts is measured in a variety of ways. At the end of each season, many Broadway producers look to their figures to see how they made out for the year while many of us look at the season overall. How many shows opened and closed? Did those shows tell the story of our modern world or take us away to incredible places? The past two seasons have seen exploding numbers of gross and visitors to New York and The Great White Way. So what did this year look like? Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the official report on the 2012-2013 year on Broadway from The Broadway League with this year’s official numbers.
The official report is out and it seems that numbers are down for the 2012-2013 year on Broadway. According to The Broadway League, 11.6 million people visited Broadway in the 2012-2013 season. This is down 6% from the previous year. In terms of total gross for the season, Broadway overall grossed $1.14 Billion dollars for the year. This is only down 1% from the previous year.
So why exactly is attendance down for Broadway in a season filled with hits and celebrities? There are a variety of actors. Both the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 season saw record breaking attendance levels and gross across the board for Broadway. Hits like Sister Act, Catch Me If You Can, The Book of Mormon, Newsies and Once have sent attendance levels through the roof with audiences flocking to New York. This season holds a much different variety of productions and overall, a much younger feel to the Broadway scene.
Hits like Annie, Matilda the Musical, Kinky Boots and Cinderella have all found home on Broadway this year sending families and children running to the theatres. But don’t get me wrong; children on Broadway are not the blame for this drop in numbers. If anything, they are what has kept us there and what will keep us going. In the 2012-2013 Broadway season, 46 new productions opened on Broadway. 20 of these were musicals and 26 were plays. The amount of plays that opened this season on Broadway broke and set a new record for the number of plays to open in one singular season.
One major fact due to the drop in numbers this season; Hurricane Sandy. The Broadway League reported a major drop in numbers during the Fall season when Hurricane Sandy slammed into the region at the end of October. All Broadway productions closed for several days and ended up staying closed for many days after as power and the public transportation system was restored to Manhattan. Despite Broadway getting back up and running within a week after the natural disaster to the East Coast, many took their time returning with much of the region destroyed by the Hurricane.
When asked about the drop in numbers, Charlotte St. Martin (Pictured Below), the Executive Director of The Broadway League, said the following in a statement:
“Each season has unique factors that contribute to the overall story. 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 theatregoers contributed to the decline in both grosses and attendance. Plus with early closings of some of our open-ended runs creating a loss in playing weeks, comparable to the decrease in attendance, there just wasn’t time to recover. While this is the first year in many that we have seen such a decline, we are pleased to report that the new season is filled with many exciting new shows and we anticipate that the numbers will return to previous season highs.”
The question that remains is: Should we be worried? The answer is no. Broadway is a place that changes as the winds do. There is always new productions and there are always a few productions running to sold out houses. Many people who have come to New York have seen those classic Broadway shows that have managed to find (Knock on Wood) a permanent home on Broadway. I’m talking about Lion King, Wicked, Jersey Boys or The Book of Mormon. There will always be new shows opening and new shows closing. The world of Broadway is one always changing. Let’s not worry about the drop in numbers this year and figure out how we can improve on it next year. Broadway will always have New York as it’s incredible backdrop and people will always being longing for a chance to experience that Great White Way.
Are you interested in more facts and figures on Broadway? Let us know! Luner on Theatre is willing to add a new weekly segment to our blog featuring the grosses for all Broadway shows. We would love to hear your feedback! For more information, check out The Broadway League’s Official Website. Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!