Coldplay Rules January Boxscore Report With Nearly $59 Million

Kicking off the new year in style, Coldplay leads Billboard’s Top Tours chart for January. According to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore, Chris Martin and company grossed $58.8 million and sold 417,000 tickets during the month, essentially doubling its closest competition.

January is traditionally the slowest month of the year, with Elton John and Tool crowning lists in 2020 and 2022, respectively, with less than $20 million each. John himself set a high mark in 2023 with $40.9 million, and now Coldplay improves upon that by 44%. This year’s top 30 tours grossed a collective $271 million, up 75% from last January’s total.

This marks the third time that Coldplay has been No. 1 on Top Tours, having crowned lists in March 2023 and July 2022. The band achieved its hat-trick with eight shows in Asia. Including another two dates in early February and eight shows in November, the latest leg of the Music of the Spheres tour earned $143.3 million.

Coldplay’s January shows break down to two at the Philippine Arena in Manila and six at Singapore’s National Stadium. The latter batch grossed $43.4 million and sold 321,000 tickets, leading Top Boxscores by a margin of 2.8-to-1.

While the phrase “world tour” often translates to the U.S., Canada and western Europe, Coldplay has taken its time to travel the globe. The Music of the Spheres Tour launched in March 2022 and has included three legs in Latin America, two in the U.S. and Canada, two in Europe, and now 18 shows in Asia. More dates in Europe and Oceania await in 2024.

In all, Coldplay’s massive global trek has sold 7.7 million tickets. Only Ed Sheeran’s Divide (÷) tour (2017-19) has sold more, at 8.9 million. With 43 shows scheduled between June and September, Coldplay would need to average about 28,000 tickets per show — less than half of the tour’s global average so far — to close the gap and become the bestselling tour in Boxscore history.

Speaking of Sheeran, he sits at No. 2 on January’s Top Tours chart with Asian concerts of his own. He grossed $31.7 million and sold 194,000 tickets over six dates, with five more in February to count toward next month’s recap.

Sheeran grossed $11.6 million over two nights in Osaka and another $10.6 million from a double-header in Dubai. Similar to Coldplay, his dates in Asia are part of a global endeavor, following legs in Europe, Oceania and North America.

Not only do both acts rub shoulders atop the all-time tally, they wrestle on the opposite end of the top 10. Sheeran’s The Mathematics Tour has now grossed $556.4 million and sold 5.8 million tickets since its April 2022 debut, squeezing into the top 10 highest grossing tours of all time. Collateral damage, Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres tour (2016-17) dips to No. 11, just as the British rock band encroaches on Sheeran’s prior tour at the all-time summit.

At No. 3 on Top Tours, Madonna brought in $31.2 million from a string of arena dates in January. That leaves her just $500,000 away from Sheeran’s runner-up spot, held back by a margin of less than 2%. All of Madonna’s 11 January dates appear on Top Boxscores, spotlighted by her three shows at Madison Square Garden. Those grossed $10.3 million from 41,200 tickets sold.

Now at $121 million, The Celebration Tour is Madonna’s sixth to cross the nine-digit threshold. Only The Rolling Stones (nine) and U2 (seven) have more. Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles also have six $100 million tours to their names.

Madonna has 32 shows left to report in the U.S., plus five in Mexico City. When all is said and done, The Celebration Tour will likely become her third to gross $200 million or more, behind stadium runs Sticky & Sweet Tour ($407.7 million; 2008-09) and the MDNA tour ($305.2 million; 2012).

K-pop offers bright spots in the top 10, with SEVENTEEN at No. 4 with $19.6 million and ENHYPEN at No. 7 with $13 million. Each group played batches of shows in Asia, just like Coldplay and Sheeran. With restrictive weather in the U.S. and Europe, stadiums in southern Asia and Australia are often pillars of early-in-the-year box office.

Comedians make their mark on Top Tours as well, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Peter Kay, Kevin Hart, Jo Koy and Brett Goldstein all ranking between Nos. 14-20.

Though not without significant highlights, the Top Tours chart embraces the winter doldrums of years past, delivering the lowest top-30 gross since last January. John Mulaney and NieR Orchestra close out the top 30 under $1 million, matching 2023’s two sub-million earners. February marks the stage returns of Blink-182, Karol G and P!nk, while introducing new tours from Bad Bunny and Olivia Rodrigo.

A version of this story will appear in the March 2, 2024, issue of Billboard.


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