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Broadway attendance up 13 percent in 2014, highest grossing year

/ Source: Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Broadway had its best-attended and highest grossing calendar year in 2014 with 13.1 million people seeing shows that brought in $1.36 billion, according to figures released on Monday.

The Broadway League, which represents producers and theater owners, said attendance was up 13 percent and grosses rose 14 percent over the 2013 calendar year.

"For the last 12 months, we've seen an exciting increase of 13 percent in Broadway attendance," said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League.

"Season-to-date, attendance is up 14 percent, following last year's end-of-season audience increase of 5.6 percent," she added in a statement.

With 36 shows, the week ending Sunday, Dec. 28 was the best-attended and highest grossing Christmas week on Broadway in recorded history. The following week was the highest grossing New Year's week and the best attended and highest grossing week overall to date, according to the league figures.

"Wicked," "The Lion King" and "Book of Mormon," were among the top grossing shows, with each pulling in more than $2.2 million for the week.

Nearly 20 new shows are scheduled to open on Broadway, beginning with "Constellations," starring actor Jake Gyllenhaal on Jan. 13.

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Alan Crosby)