The Broadway League announced Jan. 5 that the year just ended — Dec. 31, 2007-Dec. 28, 2008 — took in $940,871,190 at the box office (figures for the recently closed Young Frankenstein, which did not report its grosses, were not included). Paid attendance for Broadway during this period reached 12,319,902, and theatre seats were 75.6 percent filled.
The year-end figures were "virtually flat compared to those for 2007," according to the League, although it should be noted that the previous season included the 19-day union strike that shut down much of Broadway. The grosses for 2007 were $938 million.
The Christmas and New Year's weeks for the past year were especially strong. Broadway took in $50.99 million in grosses during this two-week period at the end of 2008; in 2007, the same weeks earned only $49.06 million at the box office.
In a statement Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, said, "Even though the last few months of the year were challenging, these last two weeks encompassing the Christmas and New Year's holidays grossed nearly two million dollars more than the same two-week period last year! This reflects that even in tough economic times, theatregoers go to the theatre!"
St. Martin added, "Over 20 new shows are lined up to open before spring to enhance an already exciting season, and it's a great time to see a Broadway show featuring your favorite stars!"