When Hip-Hop hit Broadway with the musical about Alexander Hamilton, the country went crazy over the new show. Shows were selling out faster than they could be added and when it came time for the annual Tony Awards, “Hamilton” set records and stole the show. But how has the smash hit show matched up against the list of best grossing musicals of the decade and in the history of Broadway?
As a new year…and decade…arrives, Broadway takes a look back at how the hit shows faired at the box office. Over the past decade Broadway musicals have brought in some $14 billion dollars.
Five of the shows that made the top 10 began their long run before 2010. Only the shows that ran since 2010 are counted in the decade list.
Musicals created around the music of a specific artist became very popular in the past decade. The number 10 show on the list is based on the music of music legend Carole King. “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” has grossed $270,623,922 since its debut in 2014.
The 20’s themed show “Chicago” comes in at number nine with $307,035,056. “Chicago” is one of the shows that opened before the start of the decade.
Created by Pop music star Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, “Kinky Boots” ranks number eight with $318, 990,073
Coming in at number seven, “Jersey Boys” is another musical that opened before 2010. The show features music The Four Seasons, it has grossed $319,197,328 since 2010.
Debuting in 2014, and has still brought in nearly half a billion dollars. Packing the house nearly every night, “Aladdin” has grossed $457,356,461.
The Phantoms and Christines have come and gone, but “Phantom of the Opera” lives on. Currently the longest running musical on Broadway, the “Phantom” debuted in 1988. Since 2010, the “Phantom of the Opera” has brought in $490,087,510.
It hit Broadway like a winter northeastern storm in 2015 and has broken records along the way. “Hamilton” has broken the half billion dollar mark with a gross of $618,794,316.
After debuting on Broadway just after the new decade in 2011, “The Book of Mormon” has brought in $647,327,243.
The show is called “Wicked” but the success the show has seen since its debut in 2003 is anything but. Since 2010 the musical is approaching the billion dollar mark with $914,430,541.
And the top grossing musical over the past decade roared it way to the top after debuting in 1997. Coming in just under a billion dollars, since 2010, “The Lion King” has grossed $992,533,515.
But what about the musicals that have brought in the most in the history of the Broadway musical?
It is no surprise that many of the top grossing shows over the past decade are also on the all time list as well.
With $340,332,025 in just four short years, “Hamilton” just misses the top 10 at number eleven.
Coming in at number 10 is the original run of “Cats” with 7,498 performances and $388,000,000.
Like many hit musicals, the number nine musical has had a few revivals along the way, but it is the original run of “Les Miserables” that takes the number nine spot with 6,691 performances and $406,258,901.
Making its debut on Broadway, the Disney film turned musical “Beauty and the Beast” comes in number eight with 5,507 performances and $429,158,458.
Currently running, “The Book of Mormon” hit Broadway seven years ago and has already notched itself in seventh place on the all time Broadway list of top grossing musicals with 2.966 performance to date and $546,598,332 so far.
Starting the run of musical biographies that features music of the artist, the show about The Four Seasons “Jersey Boys” comes in at number six with 4,680 performances and $558,416,084.
The 1975 debut of this musical only ran for 936 performances, but in 1996, the revival hit the stage running and hasn’t stopped yet. “Chicago” stands in at number five with 8,908 performances to date and $613,892,561 so far.
Based on the music of the Swedish pop group ABBA, “Mamma Mia” was the first musical to feature the music of a single artist. With 5,772 performances and $624,391,693, the ninth longest running show tops out in the number four spot.
Celebrating 30 years on the Broadway stage the Andrew Lloyd Weber mega hit “The Phantom of the Opera” is the first musical in the top 10 to break the billion dollar mark with 12,574 performances to date and $1,150,057,053 so far. There have been many Phantoms over the years, but the beloved musical never gets old.
Taking up residence in Broadway’s biggest venue – The Gershwin Theatre – “Wicked” reveals the backstory of the witches from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”. With a seating capacity of 1,935 people, the show has presented 6,046 performances to date and brought in $1,190,774,930 so far.
And the highest grossing musical to ever hit the Broadway stage comes roaring to the top thanks to a little help from a puppet and a knightly composer (Sir Elton John). With 8,519 performances to date, “The Lion King” has brought in $1,463,250,222 so far.
feature photo credit: By Sajibabu79 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17097650