Boxoffice Insider: Bon Jovi, A Continuing Force In 21st Century Touring
David Bergman for Bon Jovi – BJO
These Tickets Are For Sale: Bon Jovi takes a curtain call at Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 22, 2017. Final box office tallies from the tour are $232.2 million from 2,268,550 sold tickets at 90 headlining shows.
For Bon Jovi, the road is a natural habitat and, as it edges closer to the four-decade mark since forming in Sayreville, N.J., in the early 1980s, the band – inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 – has long since cemented its place in the history of live entertainment. In 2019, the band completed its 10th major tour since 2000, a year that roughly marks the halfway point in a long-lasting career on stage that began with an opening slot for ZZ Top at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in September 1983.
Fast-forward a few zillion miles and a decade or three from that first arena appearance and Bon Jovi is now one of a handful of touring titans that make up an unofficial “billionaire club,” with gross sales topping the $1 billion threshold, according to Pollstar
Boxoffice reports. With ticket sales figures from over 35 years of live performances, the band’s overall ticket sales revenue surpasses $1.35 billion. Their recorded concert attendance is also one of the highest among the marquee acts in the business, with more than 18 million sold tickets counted at the almost 1,000 shows that were added to the Pollstar database over the years.
This year, Bon Jovi will yet again rank as one of the highest-grossing artists in Pollstar’s year-end issue, slated to publish on Dec. 16, based on global revenue from its last year of touring in support of the 2016 album This House Is Not For Sale. Final box office tallies from the tour total $232.2 million from 2,268,550 sold tickets at 90 headlining shows. The launch date was Feb. 8, 2017, and the final performance came on Oct. 2, 2019.
Aside from a $17.7 million gross at “São Paulo Trip,” a Brazilian rock event at São Paulo’s Allianz Parque that ran for four days in September 2017 with Bon Jovi headlining along with The Who, Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses on separate nights, the tour’s highest recorded gross was $9.1 million for one performance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Attendance totaled 60,383 for the Dec. 1, 2018 show, which kicked off the tour’s four-city Australian leg last December.
Promoted by Melbourne-based TEG Dainty, the Oceania gigs also included sold-out stadium shows in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney.
Along with Oceania, venues on four more continents hosted the tour during its run. Bon Jovi logged its highest European gross at London’s Wembley Stadium on June 21, 2019, with $8.5 million in sales from 79,674 tickets sold. Its highest Asian gross came at Japan’s Tokyo Dome, where Bon Jovi grossed $5.9 million and sold 42,300 tickets for its concert on Nov. 26, 2018. Then, two years after heading up the bill for the second night of “São Paulo Trip,” Bon Jovi returned to Brazil to headline its own solo stadium performance at Allianz Parque on Sept. 25, 2019. The gross of $4.7 million from a packed house of 48,709 fans ranks as the top earner among the South American markets Bon Jovi played on the tour.
Although stadiums and large outdoor festivals were Bon Jovi’s standard not only in South America, but also in Asia, Oceania and Europe, the band played arenas in North America. Cities in the U.S. and Canada hosted the tour during the first half of the year in both 2017 and 2018. Its highest-grossing domestic engagement was a two-night stint at Madison Square Garden during the tour’s first leg. Sales from shows, which took place April 13-14, 2017, hit $4.6 million with 35,380 sold seats – and the band returned the following year and sold out two more concerts at the Manhattan venue May 9-10, 2018. The combined gross from both stands at the Garden neared $8.8 million with a total of 68,532 tickets sold.
David Bergman For Bon Jovi – Spreading The Jersey Love
Bon Jovi plays Stade De Suisse in Berne, Switzerland, in June 2013.
Even with this tour’s box office success – its overall gross topped $232 million – we have to go back six years to find Bon Jovi’s most profitable worldwide trek this century. The band’s 2013 “Because We Can Tour” holds the group’s gross record, with a final take registering $253.8 million. The tour easily earned the band the No. 1 ranking on Pollstar’s Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart that year, besting the opening year of Beyoncé’s “The Mrs. Carter Show” tour (No. 2) by more than $75 million. The final sold ticket count from the “Because We Can Tour” totaled 2,587,502 from the 10-month run, which included 101 shows on six continents.
Bon Jovi also ended the year at No. 1 on Pollstar’s Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart in 2010, thanks to “The Circle Tour,” which supported the group’s 11th studio album, released the previous year. The trek ran from February to December 2010 and grossed $212 million globally from 2.1 million tickets sold over 83 shows.
Bon Jovi also made Top 10 appearances in Pollstar’s year-end tallies three more times after 2000. The first such appearance was in 2006, when the band claimed the No. 8 slot with the “Have A Nice Day Tour,” which began in November 2005 and finished in summer 2006.
The same scenario occurred two years later when Bon Jovi kicked off its “Lost Highway” jaunt in the fall 2007 with a massive 10-show engagement that officially opened the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. But the bulk of the tour occurred the following year, ultimately scoring the band the No. 3 ranking on the 2008 year-end chart.
The band also charted third on 2011’s year-end chart with the 59-show “Bon Jovi Live 2011,” which grossed $151.6 million from 1.6 million tickets sold across North America and Europe