New Jersey rock group Bon Jovi has posted the highest grossing concert tour of the year not only in North America, but across the globe.
Figures released by Pollstar, the concert-tracking publication, show Bon Jovi who brought their The Circle tour to New Zealand in December posted total concert revenue of $US201.1 million ($NZ262 million). A little over half that figure $US108.2 million ($NZ140.55 million) came from the North American dates on its world tour.
Looking only at North American tour numbers, Roger Waters and his remounting of Pink Floyd's The Wall was second to Bon Jovi with a tour gross of $US89.5 million ($NZ116.4 million), followed by the Dave Matthews Band ($US72.9 million ($NZ95.4 million)), Canadian pop crooner Michael Buble ($US65.7 million ($NZ85.7 million)) and the Eagles ($US64.5 million ($NZ84.2 million)).
The big guns, however, couldn't bring up the entire concert business over last year's numbers. The top 50 North American tours combined for an overall take of $US1.69 billion ($NZ2.2 billion), down about 15 per cent from $US1.99 billion ($NZ3.5 billion) in 2009.
The story was only marginally better throughout the world, where the top 50 total tour gross of $US2.93 billion ($NZ3.8 billion) was off about 12 per cent from $US3.34 billion ($NZ4.37 billion) a year earlier.
Numbers were down almost across the board: total ticket sales dropped 12 per cent in North America, from 29.9 million in 2009 to 26.2 million last year, and decreased seven per cent worldwide, from 45.3 million in 2009 to 38.3 million in 2010.
The only increase reported by Pollstar was in the average ticket price worldwide, which went up by $US2.86 ($NZ3.7) per ticket, or about four per cent.
Tickets in North America actually dropped by about $US1.55 ($NZ1.9) or two per cent. Even Bon Jovi's field-leading $US108.2 million ($NZ141.2 million) for North America was the lowest figure in recent years for the number one spot. The record high belongs to the Rolling Stones, who took in $US162 million ($NZ212 million) on their 2005 A Bigger Bang tour.
"Artists worked fewer shows in a tough business climate and those that overreached suffered the consequences," Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni said in a statement that accompanied the numbers.
"In general, the international concert business was stronger than in North America, where overbooked and overpriced shows at outdoor amphitheatre venues made it an especially difficult year for Live Nation," a reference to the world's largest concert promoter.
Billboard's concert business rankings, which cover a slightly different, non-calendar year November 22, 2009 to November 20, 2010 and factor in worldwide tour revenues, also place Bon Jovi at the top of the heap, with a gross during that period of $US146.5 million ($NZ190.7 million) from sales of nearly 1.59 million tickets.
The rest of the magazine's top five touring acts were largely consistent with Pollstar's, with the number two slot taken by U2 ($US131.5 million ($NZ171.7 million), 1.31 million tickets), then AC/DC ($US122.6 million ($NZ160 million), 1.16 million tickets), Lady Gaga ($US116.2 million ($NZ151.7 million), 1.36 million tickets) and Black Eyed Peas ($US81.6 million ($NZ106.4 million), 1.26 million tickets). U2 scored its finish with only 22 stadium shows, compared to 69 performances for Bon Jovi.
POLLSTAR'S TOP 10 WORLDWIDE CONCERT TOURS:
1. Bon Jovi - $US201.1 million ($NZ262.65 million)
2. AC/DC - $US177 million ($NZ231.18 million)
3. U2 - $US160.9 million ($NZ210.14 million)
4. Lady Gaga - $US133.6 million ($NZ174.45 million)
5. Metallica - $US110.1 million ($NZ143.76 million)
6. Michael Buble - $US104.2 million ($NZ136.05 million)
7. Walking With Dinosaurs - $US104.1 million ($NZ135.93 million)
8. Paul McCartney - $US93 million ($NZ121.44 million)
9. Eagles - $US92.3 million ($NZ120.52 million)
10. Roger Waters - $US89.5 million ($NZ116.86 million)