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Trans-Siberian Orchestra Rules December Boxscore Report — Again

today01/25/2024

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) once again rules Billboard’s monthly Top Tours chart in December, with the act now ringing the No. 1 bell for the final month of the year in 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2019. (Of note, there was no chart in 2020 due to COVID-19’s impact on touring.) Over 73 shows between Dec. 1-30, the classical holiday collective grossed $51.5 million and sold 657,000 tickets according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore.

With ensembles on both the East and West Coasts, TSO was able to play at least two shows per day — and used the additional bandwidth to its advantage, squeezing the most performances into this December than it has in any year since 2016. Despite a 6% dip in attendance compared with last year, revenue increased by 1%, marking the highest grossing month for TSO in its illustrious 25-year touring history.

Overall, TSO grossed $68.2 million and sold 873,000 tickets on its 2023 tour. The group saw consistent increases in its annual grosses through the end of the 2010s, up 10%, 13%, and 18% in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.

The 2021 season, flanked by the first wave of COVID-19’s Omicron, dipped back by 18%, while last year’s tour came within half a percentage point of the 2019 peak. Finally, with the effect of COVID in the rearview mirror, this year’s revue establishes a new high dating back to the collective’s 1999 touring debut.

TSO hit 21 markets in November and another 42 in December. As always, major markets prime for double-headers are saved for mid-to-late December when seasonal hype reaches its apex. The average gross per city in November was $835,000, while December’s pace rose to $1.2 million.

Cleveland and Tampa were standout markets, and the first to ever generate more than $2 million in TSO history. Two shows at the former’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse grossed $2.02 million from 26,000 tickets, and a double-header at the latter’s Amalie Arena earned $2.08 million from 25,600 tickets.

Including its Y2K launch (Dec. 10, 1999, to be exact), TSO has grossed a reported $802.4 million and sold 15 million tickets from 1,893 shows. While that situates it just outside the top 20 grossing acts in Boxscore history, its rank based on attendance makes it one of the top 10 artists since Boxscore’s late-‘80s start.

TSO’s fourth month at No. 1 ties Bad Bunny and Beyoncé. Only Elton John has spent more time on top, having reigned for seven months, spread between 2019, 2020, 2022 and 2023. While its annual touring window is limited to holiday months, its dominance is reliable, likely to be repeated in Decembers to come.

Given the sheer abundance of shows in TSO’s calendar throughout all of December — compared with most tours wrapping up halfway through the month — the group’s victory this time of year can feel inevitable. Still, the No. 1 spot was claimed by just a 3% margin, narrowly fending off U2’s eight-show run at Las Vegas’ Sphere.

U2 earned just over $50 million and sold 133,000 tickets during the Dec. 1-16 leg of its residency at Sphere, claiming the No. 1 spot on Top Boxscores. Combined with the first leg, which stretched from late September to early November, the rock legends have earned $159.8 million at the groundbreaking Vegas arena. Beginning this weekend, Bono & Co. are slated for 15 more shows through March 2.

U2 isn’t the only Vegas residency act to impact the December recap. Bruno Mars is No. 4 on Top Boxscores with a five-show return to MGM’s Dolby Live. The pop-R&B chart-topper grossed $10.3 million toward the end of the month, including a New Year’s Eve performance. At the same venue, Usher is No. 30 with the final two shows of a 12-date leg that began in early November. At Resorts World Theatre, Carrie Underwood pops up at No. 22, with $4.1 million from eight of nine shows that kicked off on Nov. 30.

While Vegas leads the way, half of the 30-position Top Boxscores chart took place outside of the mainland U.S., ranging from Latin America (RBD) and Europe (Madonna) to Asia (SEVENTEEN) and Australia (50 Cent). Paul McCartney takes up the most real estate with four appearances, all of which were in Brazil. Shows in Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba rank at Nos. 3, 12-13 and 18, respectively. Three shows at Allianz Parque lead the pack with a $16.2 million gross and 149,000 attendance count over three shows.

And while Sphere enjoys a commanding lead over the Top Venues (15,001+ capacity) chart, it’s a New York theater that reigns over all concert halls in December. Radio City Music Hall crowns the Top Venues (5,001-10,000 capacity) list with $80.6 million and 133 shows. Even more efficient than TSO, The Radio City Rockettes headlined this year’s annual Christmas Spectacular, earning a gargantuan $116.7 million over 193 shows between Nov. 17 and Jan. 4.

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