We are already in the third month into the “new year” so we took a look back at last year’s Broadway runs and the insane amount of money they’ve brought in for 2016. Beginning at the bottom of the best, here are the top 10 grossing Broadway shows for last year.
10. Fiddler on the Roof
Pulling in $41,878,061 at the box office in 2016, this musical, which first hit Broadway in 1964, secured the last slot on our top grossing shows. This revival began in 2015 at the Broadway Theater and closed on December 31st of last year. Jerry Bock wrote the music for lyrics written by Sheldon Harnick. Joseph Stein penned the book about a western region of Imperial Russia in the early days of the 20th century.
The first run of this musical passed more than 3,000 performances and for ten-year Fiddler was the longest running musical on Broadway. This last revival gave nearly five hundred performances before setting the curtain down for the final time.
9. On Your Feet!
Next we have a juke-box musical, which is a term referring to a musical that uses songs that were already a hit in pop music. Singing star Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio are the subjects of this work with a book written by Alexander Dinelaris. Songs that you may recognize are “Get on Your Feet” and “Conga.” First previewed the previous summer in Chicago, this musical opened the fall of 2015 at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway.
For 2016 this show has pulled in $44,803,567 and it has given 500 performances as of January 19, 2017. Other productions have popped up in the Netherlands and a tour of the United States is scheduled for this year.
8. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
The Broadway production of this famous work, which has been restaged in other cities like Chicago, San Francisco and London, pulled in $45,562,647 for the year 2016 while performing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The music was not only written by Carole King, the plot is based on her early life as a songwriter. She was a part of many songwriting teams which includes other successful composers like Barry Mann, Gerry Goffin, Cynthia Weil, and Phil Spector.
The first staging of this piece was at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco and is has been a Broadway hit since it opened for previews in 2014.
7. Phantom of the Opera
This famous musical, which was written by the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber, pulled $46,179, 572 at the box office of the Majestic Theatre in 2016. A tale as old as time, a young soprano befriends a strange phantom who lives under the opera house where she is becoming a star. With his help, her career goals are met, yet she falls in love with another, which ignites the Phantom’s jealousy.
Globally, this opera has grossed well over five billion dollars and is the highest earning musical worldwide in history. It is said that the success of Phantom has earned more money as a whole than any other musical before or after.
6. School of Rock
Based on the Jack Black movie about a would-be musician who takes work as a substitute teacher and starts a band with his students, this musical’s gross for the year 2016 sit securely at $53,555,580. This is not surprising since the composer is again, Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Broadway giant. The lyrics were written by Glenn Slater, who won a Tony Award for The Little Mermaid and the book was written by Julian Fellowes, a successful English writer.
This latest production opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in the Fall of 2015 and has been a huge hit since. It has also been produced for a tour of the United States and a West End staging was produced late last year.
5. The Book of Mormon
Next we have the musical that shocked the world, not only with its instant success but with the fact that it was written by the creators of the Comedy Central show South Park. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Robert Lopez, created this piece to take on the subjects of religion and social consciousness.
Last year, while at their current location, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, The Book of Mormon had a gross of 70,592,536. It premiered in this location, where it is still being performed, on March 24, 2011. The cast has been changed over the years but shows continue to sell out on a regular basis.
This is the first musical on our list that was based on an animated film released by Disney Studios in 1992. Alan Menken composed the music for this work that has been holding court at the New Amsterdam Theatre since its premiere there on February 26, 2014. For the theater and creators, in 2016, Aladdin, took in $78,207,521 at the box office.
Aladdin won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (James Monroe), which was one of the five they were nominated for. Productions of Aladdin have popped up all over the globe with locations like Seattle, Denmark, Tokyo, London, and Hamburg.
A musical explanation of why the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda have such a volatile relationship had $89,011,205 in ticket sales for last year alone. Still giving performances at the Gershwin Theatre, this Stephen Schwartz work is scheduled for a tour of Ireland and the United Kingdom in 2018. It first premiered on Broadway in October of 2003 and has been performing there ever since.
With a lengthy run like that, it is a given that the cast would be changed once in a while. Some performers to take on roles include Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth.
2. The Lion King
The second musical on our list of high grossing Broadway shows sits only one away from the number one slot with a box office number of $103,190,515, which is a huge jump from the eighty-nine million drawn by Wicked at number three. With music by Sir Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, this musical opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre in 1997 but moved to its current location at the Minskoff Theatre in 2006.
It is the third-longest running show on Broadway and has grossed more than a billion dollars since it first opened in New York.
It is no surprise that this musical sits in the number one slot. Hamilton has a record setting gross for the year 2016 at $105,471, 174. Written in its entirety by Lin-Manuel Miranda, this groundbreaking work is based on Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of American Democracy. Opening at its current home in July of 2015 this musical reached critical acclaim quickly and has been reproduced in Chicago for another long running successful show.
This is a newer musical compared to some on the list, so we will have our eyes on it for years to come.
These were the top 10 grossing Broadway shows. Go ahead and check out these 4 musicals that have won an Oscar!