For the past few weeks our intrepid investigators, number crunchers and numerologists have been intensely studying box office figures accrued during the first six months of 2014. After the data was processed by our new quantum-enhanced Colossus computer (a special project created by Pollstar decimal consultant Dr. Charles “Skippy” Forbin) a clear picture of ticket amounts, prices and box office final results emerged.
A total gross of $131.5 million puts One Direction ahead of The Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen and others on our Top 100 Worldwide Tours for the first half of the year. Playing 31 shows in 17 cities, the boy band sold 1,630,502 tickets at an average price of $80.65.
But not all tours are equal when studying box office results. Some acts play more shows while others play far fewer gigs but charge more money for tickets. Many variables come into play when building the statistical charts that will be studied, cited and quoted during the decades ahead.
For instance, The Rolling Stones played 16 shows in 14 cities and sold 651,816 tickets total at an average price of $176.65 resulting in a final gross of $115.1 million. If Mick and the boys had played a few more shows during the first six months of the year, the band just might have claimed the No. 1 spot on our chart.
On the other hand, Justin Timberlake played 55 shows in 44 cities and sold more tickets than The Stones but fewer than One Direction. The former *NSYNC member’s $110.2 million total gross put him in the No. 3 position.
George Strait’s final hurrah – the “Cowboy Rides Away” tour – grossed $61.8 million in 2014, making him No. 1 on Pollstar’s Midyear Top 100 North American Tour chart. Playing 26 concerts in 26 cities, Strait sold 578,760 tickets overall at an average price of $106.78.
No. 2 was Billy Joel, who didn’t play nearly as many gigs as Strait. With 28 shows in 16 cities, Joel sold a total of 533,459 tickets at an average price of $95.04 for a final gross of $50.7 million.
The show business legend that is Cher placed third. Her 43 shows in 43 cities resulted in 538,707 total tickets sold. With tickets averaging $90.09 in price, Cher has grossed $48.5 million so far on her tour. With more dates yet to play we’ll probably be talking about her once again when we post our year-end results.
Justin Timberlake may have claimed the No. 3 spot on our worldwide chart but he’s No. 4 in North America. Having played 21 shows in 17 cities, Timberlake sold 295,527 tickets total for a final gross of $33.9 million. The Paul Simon / Sting co-bill checks in at No. 5 with 22 gigs in 21 cities, 232,246 tickets sold for a final $29.5 million gross.