Last week was very significant on Broadway for just one reason.
Ever since the mega-musical Wicked opened at Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre on Halloween in October 2003, it has been the highest grossing show in New York City. Nope, that’s not a typo. Every week for a little over five years, Wicked has brought in the dollars on a very large scale. Costing over $800,000 a week to run, last week Wicked grossed $1.43 million at the box office.
But last week also saw the musical Irving Berlin’s White Christmas gross $1.49 million, making it the biggest musical in town and the first to topple Wicked’s almighty crown. For half a decade Wicked has been untouchable in terms of Broadway grosses and even when it was grossing $1.2 and $1.3 million a week, nothing came close, with The Lion King and later Jersey Boys being its only real competitors during most of its stay on top.
But now White Christmas will hold a little piece of Broadway history and may well be remembered in years to come as the show that toppled Wicked on Broadway.
Edit: Albeit a brief two-week stay in the limelight, figures for 29/12 have just been released, seeing Wicked surge ahead of White Christmas’ box office grosses. In the midst of news about economic gloom and closing shows on Broadway, Wicked just topped the $1.8 million mark in the past week, the show’s highest-ever figures on Broadway.