Wicked trumps all other Broadway shows for tour sales

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I've done several posts lately about Broadway shows, either past or present, and how well or poorly they were/are received. But this week I got a little curious at how well those same Broadway shows do once they go on tour around the country. Which ones are the most popular, and which ones lose their shine after leaving the Great White Way?

2012 Broadway Tour Sales pie chart

So, I compiled some stats. Using sales from sites that use the TicketNetwork® Exchange, I looked up sales so far in 2012 for shows on tour that are currently on Broadway or were on Broadway sometime in the last year, and found 18 shows that fit the criteria. I expected Wicked to top the list, but I had no idea just how dominant it would be! It turns out that Wicked makes up nearly half of all the Broadway tour sales based on total gross dollar amount (see the pie chart at right if you're a visual person). This means that Wicked has made almost as much money on the Exchange in 2012 as 17 other shows put together. Crazy.

As for the rest of the shows, I've put together a list of the top 10 touring Broadway shows in terms of sales, as well as the highest average ticket prices:

 Top Selling Broadway Tours Highest Avg. Ticket Prices
1. Wicked 1. The Book of Mormon $300.72
2. The Lion King 2. War Horse $200.68
3. Jersey Boys 3. Chicago - The Musical $172.25
4. Mamma Mia! 4. The Lion King $153.82
5. The Book of Mormon 5. Wicked $152.07
6. American Idiot 6. La Cage Aux Folles $150.17
7. Billy Elliot 7. Mamma Mia! $142.47
8. Million Dollar Quartet 8. Billy Elliot $139.41
9. War Horse 9. Jersey Boys $137.44
10. Mary Poppins 10. Mary Poppins $135.22

You can see how some shows like The Book of Mormon made the list of top-selling shows even though there are many fewer tour dates currently on sale. That's because the average ticket price is much higher, so the total gross dollar amount adds up quickly. What's even more impressive is that Wicked makes up such a large portion of sales with a lower average ticket price; that means it's sold even more tickets to take in the amount of money it did.

Tell us what you think of these stats in the comments; are they surprising or pretty predictable? And if you're looking for Broadway or tour tickets of your own, check out our theater page.

* As of 3/20/2012 1:00 p.m. EDT.


Worst actor transitions from movies to Broadway

Theatre stage

If you recall, last week I wrote a post about the most successful actors on film and on Broadway. You didn't think I'd let the flops go without notice, did you? Here are some of the worst attempts of famous actors to star in a Broadway production...none of them attempted a second.

Lucille Ball: I'm sure you know Lucille Ball as Lucy in I Love Lucy and probably several other characters in various movies. But you've probably never heard of her success on Broadway because, well, she didn't have any. In 1960, Ball starred in a musical called Wildcat. In it she played Wildcat "Wildy" Jackson, a woman who dreams of finding oil but doesn't know where to begin. The writer of the book had pictured a young woman in the lead role (whereas Lucille Ball was 48 years old), but when Ball committed funding to the project, he had to rework the show. The Broadway production only ran for 171 performances, due to lukewarm reviews, the fact that "Wildy" was not at all like Ball's I Love Lucy character, and the fact that she kept getting sick and audience members requested refunds in droves.


Best actors on both stage and screen

Theatre stage

This was originally going to be a post about the best actors on television or in movies to make a career transition to the theatre, but as I did more research it turns out that many of them actually started in the theatre and then made seamless transitions back and forth. So these are the chameleons that can act on film and onstage, despite the vast differences in the two mediums.

Matthew Broderick: Mr. Broderick has done his fair share of acting both onstage and in movies. He won a Tony Award when he was 21 with a featured role in Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983). But, of course, he is most famous for the movie that came soon after, 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This really shot him to stardom, and he continued to dabble in films for several years. In the last 15 years or so most of his work has been back onstage, including 1995’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (for which he won a Tony) and 2001’s The Producers. His next project is Nice Work If You Can Get It, which begins previews March 29, 2012, at Imperial Theatre on Broadway.


Newsies prepares to make headlines on Broadway

Newsies image

Exactly one month from today, the Newsies musical will be making its Broadway debut. About a year ago, that sentence would have meant nothing to me. But in a few short months, I went from never having heard of Newsies to writing this blog post recommending it to everyone.

The new production is based on the 1992 Disney movie about the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899. When the movie first came out, it wasn't a huge box office hit, but once it came out on video it turned into a sort of cult classic with the Disney generation. Somehow I managed to miss this entire Newsies craze, as I'd never even heard of the movie until I started working at TicketNetwork and some of my friends starting talking about it one day. Apparently this was a much more widespread phenomenon than I'd first realized, because everyone who I mentioned the movie to said something like, "Oh, I love Newsies!" instead of, "What?"


TicketNetwork February live events preview

February Events Image

It's easy to get stuck in the doldrums during the cold and cloudy winter, but how can you be sad when it's National Grapefruit Month? February may be the shortest month of the year, but there is still plenty going on (especially with the extra leap day!). Check out an overview below.


Elton John: The legend is kicking off his Las Vegas residency on February 9, featuring lots of his greatest hits in "The Million Dollar Piano" show.

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Big Time Rush: The Nickelodeon boy band is touring the country this spring, beginning in Las Vegas on February 17.

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Van Halen: Rock fans will definitely not want to miss the latest tour of classic rock, featuring original front man David Lee Roth.

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