Broadway box offices had a white-hot Christmas this year, grossing $14,090,973 for the holiday week. The figure is up 18% from last week's tally. Despite the fact that top ticket prices climbed to $80 for Broadway shows this year, the figure falls just short of last year's yuletide take of $14,720,460.
The yearly grosses, however, tell a different story. Broadway has grossed $319,761,323 so far this year, a 6.4% increase over the figure posted at Week 30 last year. The 1997-98 season set box office records with its grosses of $557,259,076, an 11% increase over the previous season. It is likely that the 1998-99 season will surpass that figure, but it will probably not exceed it by 11%.
Variety reports that, judging by last week's income, the 1999 New Year's week statistics are expected to compare favorably with last year's, which was the biggest seven-day sum in Broadway history.
For all Broadway shows, the average ticket price is currently $57.46. For musicals, audience members pay a median of $59.65. For plays, the mean cost is $44.54. Plays accounted for 11.2% of all business done on Broadway last week, and musicals brought in $12,507,239 for the remaining 88.8%. Musicals on the whole operated at 84.4% capacity, and plays played to 73.4% of audience potential.