Unless you've been living under a large rock this past year, you've heard of Hamilton. The smash Broadway musical is the toast of New York City, and has made a cultural impact nationwide. Its popularity extends even to the highest office in the country – Barack Obama joked that a love of Hamilton was the only thing that he and Dick Cheney have in common.
But how exactly does a musical about the founding father who created the United States Treasury go on to make a billion dollars?
Although it's not there quite yet, according to a piece by The New York Times , all signs are pointing to Hamilton hitting the ten digit mark in about a decade.
Hamilton wouldn't be the first musical to make such a huge amount of money. Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and The Lion King have all grossed upwards of a billion dollars. And if Hamilton manages to keep its momentum post-Tony Awards (the show is nominated by a record sixteen nominations), it could very well stand that it will become one of the highest-grossing musicals of all time.
It's been well reported that Hamilton has some of the priciest tickets on Broadway, but its not just the price of the tickets, but the consistent number of people who are buying them that make the show so lucrative. Hamilton regularly sells out all 1,321 seats at the Richard Rodgers Theater, multiply that by eight shows a week, and the fact that tickets average about $172 (though can go for much, much higher for premium seats, and on websites like StubHub and Craigslist) and you're looking at some huge numbers.
Hamilton makes $1.9 million in gross per week. At this pace, the musical will make about $100 million in gross per year, and will hit the billion dollar mark within the decade.
It should be noted that its rare for any show to keep up that kind of interest with the public and it wouldn't be unreasonable argue that within a few years, the buzz surrounding Hamilton could be replaced by a new Broadway offering.
However, within the next few months, Hamilton will no longer be confined to New York City. Two touring companies have been announced, and the musical will soon be found in Chicago in September, and Los Angeles in August of 2017. Once the expansion begins, and if public interest holds, Hamilton's already incredible grosses could stand to exponentially increase.
Who would have guessed that the man on the ten dollar bill would be the basis of one of the most successful musicals of all time? Regardless, we're sure the producers, actors, and creator/star, Lin Manuel Miranda, are all grateful to Hamilton for not throwing away his shot.