By Erin Strecker
Updated December 03, 2012 at 09:49 PM EST
Annie Musical
Credit: Joan Marcus

The sun came out this year on Broadway.

The Broadway League released its 15th annual demographics report today, and it’s good news for fans of the Great White Way: 2012 was the strongest year ever in terms of attendance and grosses. The Broadway box office hit almost 1.14 billion dollars this year.

“This was our strongest 52-week season in history…with over 12.3 million admissions,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, in a press release. “We are pleased to see growth in international market, as New York City continues to show strong tourism numbers. As well, the 2011 – 2012 season saw an increase in the diversity of our audience. Word of mouth continues to be the greatest influence for show selection, with a notable uptick in the power of social networking posts.”

The bigger news is that attendance is up – not just grosses. As ticket prices have continued to rise, it’s no surprise that gross numbers would also be inflated.

Other interesting theater facts from the study:

– Playgoers tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees. The typical playgoer saw six shows in the past year, compared with four for the musical enthusiast.

– Tourists accounted for 63.4% of all ticket sales.

– International tourists accounted for 18.4% of all admissions to Broadway shows.

– 47% of respondents said they bought their tickets online, up from 44% last year.

-67% of audience members were female.

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