Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper, who are starring in The River and The Elephant Man, respectively, helped power Broadway to record ticket sales over the Thanksgiving holiday along with big name Broadway productions like The Lion King and Aladdin.
In all, the Great White Way’s plays and musicals grossed $34,121,642 for the holiday week, a $2.6 million increase over last year’s record take, according to The Broadway League, the industry’s trade group.
The increased revenue was not only fueled by higher prices. Attendance jumped to 284,669, up 23,513 from last season, according to the group.
“The increase in family-friendly shows combined with powerful new plays representing diverse topics adds spice to our season,” said Broadway League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin.
“There were 36 shows playing, compared to 32 last year during the same week. We are thankful that Broadway continues to be culturally relevant, inspirational, and entertaining,” she added.
The increases were in step with attendance and gross overall for the year to date. Broadway shows have grossed more than $701 million, a 13.1 percent increase over the $620.5 million gross at this time last year.
Attendance is also about 13 percent higher at 6,748,365 as of last week compared with 5,948,812 last year.
Among the big three major productions, all by Disney, The Lion King grossed $2.4 million for eight performances at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre.
Alladdin grossed $1.8 million at the New Amsterdam Theatre. And, Wicked grossed $2.43 million, with one extra show, according to Broadway League figures.
Among other productions, marquee names ruled led by Hollywood A-Listers Jackman and Cooper.
The River at the Circle in the Square Theater grossed $906,275, barely edged out by The Elephant Man, which grossed $958,970 at the Booth Theatre. Both shows sold out for the holiday weekend.
Among other big winners were The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ($952,107); Cinderella ($1.1 million) with Real Atlanta Housewife NeNe Leakes and The Illusionists ($1 million).
The Broadway League and The American Theatre Wing annually present the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards, the most coveted in the theater industry.