Last updated 5/7/24

Last season, 12.8 million people attended a Broadway show. To put that figure into perspective, more people went to see plays and musicals in New York than attended baseball and football games for our four major teams. And when you consider the seasons that both the Mets and Yankees had this past year, Broadway seems to be the only entity in town that is consistently hitting home runs.

What makes a popular show? Well, there are a few factors, but basically–since commercial theater is a business–it’s supply/demand economics. A show in a big theater naturally has the potential to make more money than a show in a smaller theater. However, tickets to a popular show in a smaller house can become a hotter commodity due to the scarcity of seats. This list represents a mixture of shows with the highest percentage of seats sold and top-grossers for the end of November.

So, if you’re looking for a barometer that will tell you which shows are buzzworthy fodder for water cooler chatter and tough tickets to get, here’s the list.

1 - The Lion King

The king of the jungle is also the king of the box office. And who would have ever thought that after 25 years, the stage adaptation of Disney’s animated film loosely based on Hamlet would still be filling the theater? Night after night, its eye-popping stagecraft and timeless songs continue to capture the imagination of a new generation of theatergoers.

Seats sold: 94.12%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $2,035,958

Average ticket price: $160.58

2 - Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

This sold-out hit in London transforms the August Wilson Theater into a multi-level immersive experience that begins an hour before the show starts. Academy and Tony Award-winner Eddie Redmaye stars at the Emcee in this groundbreaking revival of Kander and Ebb’s chilling musical tale of life in pre-Nazi era Germany.

Seats sold: 100.05%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $1,920,289

Average ticket price: $224.23

3 - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tony Award-winners Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit prepare to wrap up their run in this top-flight revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical tale of lust, revenge, murder and accidental cannibalism.

Seats sold: 100.05%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $1,762,444

Average ticket price: $167.92

4 - Hamilton

The story of ten dollar bill founding father Alexander Hamilton brought to new life in a thrilling spin on the immigrant experience. Since opening in 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning juggernaut  has been packing the house at the Richard Rodgers Theater nightly, where it’s been turning hip-hop enthusiasts into American History nerds and vice versa. 

Seats sold: 95.00%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $1,732,853

Average ticket price: $177.22

5 - Wicked

The musical prequel to The Wizard of Oz that asks the question, “are all bad reputations earned,” has defied gravity and box office expectations at the cavernous Gershwin Theater, where it has been breaking box office records for over 20 years.

Seats sold: 89.18%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $1,586,005

Average ticket price: $123.02

6 - The Wiz

Emmy Award-winner Wayne Brady and dancefloor diva Deborah Cox lead this highly-anticipated revival of 1975 reimagining of L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Seats sold: 94.72%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $1,458,478

Average ticket price: $120.30

7 - MJ The Musical

A first-rate creative team took 41 songs from Michael Jackson’s discography and spun them into a compelling narrative about the King of Pop as he prepared for his famed 1992 Dangerous tour. 

Seats sold: 91.77%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $1,456,595

Average ticket price: $143.04

8 - Merrily We Roll Along

Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Tony Award-winner Lindsay Mendez star in this highly acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical tale of friendships, betrayals, and the passing of time.

Seats sold: 100%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $1,435,572

Average ticket price: $185.76

9 - Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Truth, beauty, freedom, and love are on display at the Al Hirschfeld Theater in Tony Award-winning director Alex Timbers’ staging of Baz Luhrmann’s classic 2001 film. Come for the romance and stay for the 70-plus remixes of songs by Elton John, David Bowie, Patti LaBelle, Adele, and more!

Seats sold: 99.14%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $1,405,859

Average ticket price: $136.35

10 - Hell's Kitchen

From 16-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys comes a coming of age musical about a rebellious girl and her overprotective single mother living in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Inspired by Keys’s own life, the musical is about finding yourself and the community that lifts you.

Seats sold: 99.66%

Gross for week ending 5/5: $1,270,519

Average ticket price: $110.43