BoxOffice Insider: Paul McCartney’s Worldwide Journey In 2017

Last week’s Global Concert Pulse was topped by the usual suspects of The Rolling Stones at No. 1 ($9,996,473 average gross), U2 at No. 2 ($8,640,263 average gross) and Bruno Mars and Guns N’ Roses at No. 4 and 5. 

Paul McCartney
Scott Legato
– Paul McCartney
Little Caesars Arena in Detroit

Many of these high-grossing arena and stadium artists have been tending to route more internationally, specifically through South America and Down Under. 

One great example of this is Paul McCartney, who occupied the No. 3 position on last week’s Global Concert Pulse chart and finished No. 7 on the Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours Chart. McCartney was excellent about submitting his reports to Pollstar, so this week we will take a look at his globetrotting ways in 2017.

Sir Paul played 36 shows in total last year in 27 markets, and with reports submitted to Pollstar for each date. His total gross, in U.S. dollars was $132,338,095 with 904,838 tickets reportedly moved.

The year started off with one show at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo April 25 and three shows at the Tokyo Dome April 27-30. Those were reportedly all completely sold out, grossing upwards of $27.8 million, and set the pace for the rest of the year, which included U.S. arena runs in July and September, a Latin American run in October and Australia and New Zealand in December.  

Basically the entire year sold out for Paul, the exceptions being a doubleheader in Tinley Park, Ill., reporting 93 percent of tickets sold. Those shows still attracted the equivalent of a small city with 46,040 tickets reported.

The entire Latin American leg reported more than $26 million in total gross, more than 20 percent of Paul’s yearly tour revenue on five dates, all in stadiums of more than 45,000 seats.

Australia and New Zealand also saw McCartney hit five markets, but he doubled-down for two nights in Sydney and Melbourne, bringing him to a total of seven shows, grossing more than $28.9 million. The doubleheaders were at Qudos Bank Arena Dec. 11-12 (14,543 capacity) and AAMI Park Dec. 5-6 (29,501 capacity), both sold out.

For those keeping score, that means McCartney made more than $82 million outside of the U.S. in 2017, more than 60 percent of his total gross on the year. Obviously, the demand for one of the last living Beatles is astronomical, and there are few artists with a comparable catalog. Still, these international markets are demonstrating increasing capacity to handle major touring acts. 

The U.S. dates were mostly in the regional South, the Midwest and Northeast. Detroit; Uniondale, N.Y.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; New York, N.Y.; Newark, N.J.; and Tinley Park, Ill., all got two nights of McCartney.