Frank Sinatra isn't closely identified with the Broadway stage, but producers on the Great White Way were happy to be singing one of his refrains as they released attendance figures for the just-ended 2014-15 season: It was a very good year.
The best on record, in fact, when it came to attendance and box-office receipts, both of which reached all-time peaks, the Broadway League announced Tuesday.
Total attendance was 13,104,078, up 7.3% from last year, and box offices reaped $1.37 billion, a 7.6% increase over the 2013-14 season. Playgoers forked over $104.18 per ticket, on average.
"We're giving theatergoers what they want, including a variety of musicals and plays, recognizable brands and new shows," Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in the announcement.
But producing on Broadway remained a crap shoot despite the record attendance and earnings. Of the 35 shows that were running when the season began last spring, only 14 were still going at its close.
"Wicked" was the busiest show, with 739,638 tickets sold, according to figures compiled at playbill.com, edging out "Aladdin" (713,406) and "The Lion King" (700,427). "The Phantom of the Opera" (547,272) and "Matilda, the Musical" (544,390) rounded out the top five. "Kinky Boots," "Les Miserables," "The Book of Mormon," "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" and "Jersey Boys" were others selling 400,000 tickets or more during the 52-week period.
Broadway saw 37 new productions (15 musicals, 20 plays and two special events) open during the period, which began May 24, 2014, and ended Sunday.