While descriptions such as “record-setting” and “highest-grossing” in reference to Bad Bunny almost seem redundant in 2022 – a year in which the Puerto Rican Latin trap star has exploded on the live entertainment scene – one of his recent record-smashing events will go down in history as the greatest ever.
The artist – currently on the road with his “World’s Hottest Tour” through Dec. 10 – set an all-time record for a two-show concert gross by a solo headliner with a mammoth $31,474,781 box office haul at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
Also, with his average of $15.7 million for each show at the venue, he has the second- and third-highest gross ever for a single concert, according to box office sales figures reported during The Pollstar Era that stretches back four decades. Only “King of Country” George Strait has a higher gross on record for one performance with $18.2 million at the final concert on his “The Cowboy Rides Away” tour on June 7, 2014.
It is not an accomplishment that goes unnoticed at Live Nation, the co-promoter (along with Cardenas Marketing Network) of Bad Bunny’s stadium tour. “Selling back-to-back record-breaking shows is not something we see often; from being the highest-grossing show at SoFi to ranking as the second- and third-highest-grossing shows in music touring history, the massive impact the ‘World’s Hottest Tour’ has had is a direct outcome of Bad Bunny’s hard work, creativity, and talent,” Hans Schafer, SVP of Global Touring at Live Nation, told Pollstar. “The rise and demand for Latin music worldwide are undeniable, and we are thankful to be a part of this journey alongside Benito and everyone involved.”
Bad Bunny’s $31.5 million gross at SoFi Stadium is actually just the tip of the iceberg of his impact on the record books. He has four of the highest-grossing two-show concert engagements of all time, while The Rolling Stones have the remaining four.
With his SoFi engagement, the Latin superstar surpassed the Stones in the two-show category by $6 million. The iconic rock band previously owned the record with a gross of $25.5 million set in 2019 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey from shows on Aug. 1 and 5 during the “No Filter” tour’s first North American leg.
Then, Bad Bunny follows with the third-highest two-show gross of all time: $22.8 million in ticket revenue from concerts Aug. 27-28 at Yankee Stadium in New York City, passing Madonna who was the previous top-grossing headliner at the ballpark with $12.6 million in the archives from a two-show run in September 2012 on her “MDNA” tour.
The Rolling Stones follow with the fourth-and fifth-highest grossers beginning with a $22.7 million box office take from two performances at London’s Hyde Park in July 2013, an engagement that wrapped the group’s “50 & Counting” tour. Close behind is another two-night stint by the band at the same London location. They scored a $22.4 million gross this summer, playing for sellout crowds on June 25 and July 3 during the “Sixty” tour.
Two more Bad Bunny events this year are next on the list – the first, a two-night run at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas Sept. 23-24, with $22.1 million in sales, followed by $21.9 million earned at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Aug. 12-13. Finally, The Rolling Stones follow with the eighth-highest two-nighter that grossed $21.7 million on June 21 & 25, 2019 at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
During the 1980s and 1990s there were multimillion-dollar grosses, now stored in the Pollstar archives, but with unprecedented growth in ticket pricing that has transformed the live industry in this century, none come close to Bad Bunny’s success on his ongoing tour.
Prior to 2000, the best two-show gross was Barbra Streisand’s $13.6 million from New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day performances at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, 1993-94. She played there again at the end of 1999, grossing $14.7 million for a single show, but both 90s-era events fall below Bad Bunny’s L.A. total – either his two-night total or the one-show average.
In his incredible year on the road, Bad Bunny has racked up box office that could blast even more records before 2022 is over. With a gross average of $11 million per show, the potential to end the year with the highest overall gross in a single year of touring is within reach. His Latin American leg that kicks off Oct. 21 will tell the tale.