Broadway Grosses Analysis: Merrily We Roll Along Closes the Top-Grossing Show on Broadway | Playbill

Grosses Broadway Grosses Analysis: Merrily We Roll Along Closes the Top-Grossing Show on Broadway

The production's final week was the top grosser of its entire run by nearly half-a-million dollars.

Graphic by Vi Dang

Broadway's Tony-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Merrily We Roll Along capped off its incredible comeback story with a final week that saw the highest take of its high-grossing run. Bringing in $2,766,127, the show was the top grosser on Broadway for the second week in a row.

It can't be overstated how momentous this second Broadway outing for the 1981 musical was. The first go around infamously lasted just 16 performances, and was considered one of Sondheim's few real financial and artistic failures. A few decades (and revisions to that original version) later, and Merrily is anything but a failure of any kind. The show spent the majority of its run in the top five highest grossers, and it won the 2024 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

Throughout the run, but particularly in this final week, the greatest height of the revival's financial success has been led by theatregoers who were willing to pay a pretty penny to see the show and its A-list cast (led by 2024 Tony winners Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez). The average ticket price in its final week on the boards was a whopping $357.94, no doubt made possible thanks to its truly astonishing top ticket price of $949. Yes, at least one passionate fan out there paid nearly $1,000 to see this musical in its final week.

The production says this is the 10th time the musical has broken house records at the Hudson Theatre, which has previously hosted other star-led hot tickets like Jessica Chastain in A Doll's House, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite, Wendell Pierce and Sharon D Clarke in Death of a Salesman, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge in Sea Wall/A Life. In fact, Merrily's final box-office week is the highest-grossing week ever for a Sondheim musical on Broadway. Once considered more art than commerce, Sondheim has officially become a somewhat reliable box-office juggernaut (recent Broadway revivals of Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd were also incredibly successful).

Also breaking records last week was Jinkx Monsoon. Currently playing Matron "Mama" Morton in Broadway's Chicago, the two-time RuPaul's Drag Race winner has proved a major box-office draw in both of her stints in the show. Last week, she broke her own record for the highest single performance gross, with the July 5 performance bringing in $136,597.70. 

Overall, grosses fell by a little more than 8% in the holiday week compared to the week prior, but there were also three less shows for theatregoers to see, so that's not so surprising. Average ticket prices are holding strong at a healthy $127.55, and more than 95% of seats were filled across the 27 currently running plays and musicals—in fact, all but two shows played to at least 90%-full houses. Summer may be hot, but Broadway is pumping A/C to the audience and keeping the heat on stage—and we are not mad about it!

Take a look at the full report here.

The $1 Million Club (shows that earned $1 million or more at the box office):

(13 of 27 currently running productions)

The 90s Club (shows that played to 90% or higher of their seats filled over the entire week):

(25 of 27 currently running productions)

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