The Broadway hit show “Hamilton” saw a record-breaking week after President-elect Donald Trump called the show “highly overrated,” but it had absolutely nothing to do with the entire controversy involving Vice President-elect Mike Pence, despite The Daily Beast’s poorly researched story suggesting as much.
The chart-topping stretch for “Hamilton,” which saw $3.3 million in sales on Thanksgiving week (which included eight performances), began three days after attendees booed Pence and cast members lectured him about President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric toward minorities.
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) November 19, 2016
After the entire controversy played out, Pence went on “Fox News Sunday” and said, “That’s what freedom sounds like.”
But Trump wasn’t too keen on just letting it go. The president-elect instead took to Twitter, as he often does, to call the show “highly overrated” and label the cast “very rude.”
The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016
The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2016
However, none of that had even the slightest impact on the boom in ticket sales, which ushered in the best week a Broadway show has ever seen, because “Hamilton” seats, a pretty hot commodity on the Broadway strip, are sold many months in advance — a fact that takes less than five minutes to research.
Another factor that played into the record-breaking week was, as CNNMoney pointed out, the spike in the price of tickets for the show. The average price went up by 33 percent to $303.21, and the priciest ticket reached $998, which is also a record-breaking price tag, according to The Broadway League, the industry’s trade group.
And there is yet another factor that further debunks The Daily Beast’s claim that the record ticket sales were related the the Pence kerfuffle: Thanksgiving week is historically one of the best weeks for Broadway, surpassed only by the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
It is also worth noting that there is a difference between weekly gross sales and advance sales. From HotAir:
Weekly gross sales represent the income derived from the eight shows that are performed in the current calendar week.
Advance sales are ticket transactions that occur today for a future performance.
Now, if you are looking to buy a ticket to “Hamilton,” you’re probably going to give Ticketmaster your money today and you won’t be seeing the show until 6 months from now. So today’s transaction for a performance scheduled on June 1st would be counted as “advance sales” and once the actual performance plays on June 1st, your ticket purchase will be counted in the “weekly gross sales” figure.
Moving forward, it is entirely possible “Hamilton” might see an increase in advance sales, but those figures are not yet available.
However, there was apparently an uptick in interest surrounding the show. According to the music streaming app Spotify, on Wednesday, Nov. 23, the “Hamilton” cast album enjoyed the second most streams since its release, bested only by the day after it won 11 Tony awards.
Though there is a chance the increase in searches was just due to the fact that “Hamilton” was on a lot of Spotify users’ minds, given it dominated headlines going into the Thanksgiving holiday.