One of Broadway’s newest shows—and one of its oldest—topped the box office in 2016, according to a report in Variety.
The trade paper’s tabulation showed Hamilton earned $105.5 million in 2016, followed closely by the The Lion King’s $103.2 million. Hamilton’s high-priced premium seats and strong demand were nearly matched by the Disney musical’s family appeal and larger seating capacity.
Overall, Broadway shows took in a record $1.37 billion during fiscal year 2016, edging out previous record year 2014 ($1.36 billion) and last year's $1.35 billion. A record 13.3 milllion people saw Broadway shows last year. The average ticket price was just over $103.
Hamilton and Lion King were the only two shows to top $100 million for the year. The next three were Wicked with $89 million, Aladdin with $78.2 million, and The Book of Mormon with $70.6 million. Also in the Top 10 were two Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, the 2015 School of Rock ($53.6 million) and the 1988 The Phantom of the Opera ($46.2 million).
Among straight plays, the top earner was the Tony-winning Best Play The Humans ($22.2 million), which began performances last January, followed by the current revival of The Front Page ($16.5 million), which began performances in the fall.
The figures come with an important asterisk: For bookkeeping purposes the Broadway League, which tracks Broadway box-office figures, is counting the 52-week fiscal 2016 as ending December 25, according to a League spokesperson. Fiscal 2017 will have 53 weeks. Because the week between Christmas and New Year is often the most lucrative of the year, the figures for 2016 would have been substantially higher if bookkeepers had reported figures that conformed to the calendar.