EXCLUSIVE: The year isn’t over, but it’s already demolishing records.
As of Dec. 24, Broadway grosses for 2017 totaled $1.59 billion, vs. $1.37 billion for all of 2016, which had been the bestselling calendar year. With a holiday bonanza likely this week, 2017 sales are on track to be up about 20 percent, according to data from the Broadway League, which represents producers and theater owners.
Broadway is hitting new heights as it weathers a 4 percent drop in international tourism in the U.S. in the first half of the year. (Numbers for 2017’s second half aren’t available.) Some say President Trump’s anti-immigration, “America First” rhetoric and agenda is a factor in the decline of international travelers. Yet thanks to a continued influx of Americans, overall tourism is up in New York City. “The domestic audience may be more attuned to Broadway than international visitors,” said George Wachtel, president of Audience Research & Analysis, which conducts market research about cultural tourism.