BTS Surpasses $50 Million in May with the Month's Top-Grossing Tour
The K-pop boy band’s recent slew of concerts -- including back-to-back nights at some of the biggest U.S. stadiums -- vaults the group into an elite class of touring superstars.
Five years after its first hometown show in Seoul, BTS has completed its worldwide domination, topping the latest monthly boxscore recap with the top-grossing tour of May 2019. From only eight shows in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Sao Paolo, the South Korean superstars grossed $51.7 million and sold 384,498 tickets, according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore. These towering earnings mark the biggest one-month total of 2019 so far.
After hitting their first U.S. stadium last year (New York’s Citi Field; Oct. 6, 2018), the septet expanded in May to two shows at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, as well as double-headers at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and Soldier Field in Chicago. These six domestic shows totaled $44 million and nearly 300,000 tickets sold.
This swift sweep of the country is not only massively impressive for a foreign-language act in the U.S., but places BTS among the most powerful touring artists in the world. As previously reported, their double-header at the Rose Bowl earned $16.6 million and sold 113,040 tickets (May 4-5). This makes it the single highest-grossing engagement in the venue’s Boxscore history, out-performing previous high marks by Taylor Swift and U2, as well as co-headline stints by Beyoncé & Jay-Z and Eminem & Rihanna. Their shows in Chicago and New Jersey are the fifth highest-grossing engagements for both venues.
A week after their domestic trek, BTS hit Sao Paolo, Brazil, grossing $7.7 million from 84,812 tickets at the Allianz Parque (May 25-26). The K-pop act last played Sao Paolo in March 2017, when they sold 15,327 tickets and grossed $1.2 million at Citibank Hall. That means their 2019 return grossed more than six times their previous area show, in line with similar arena-to-stadium leaps in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. These four stadium engagements dominate the Top Boxscores chart, at Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 9.
The men of BTS aren’t the only Korean globetrotters impacting the May charts. BLACKPINK impacts the Top Tours chart at No. 29 with $3.6 million, fueled by reports from London and Berlin to Duluth, Ga.
BTS powers much of the new Top Stadiums chart. All three domestic venues from their May run make the ranking, topped by the Rose Bowl. The Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon, France, is at No. 4, though it is No. 1 when sorting stadiums by total paid attendance. Ed Sheeran played three dates there on May 24-26, grossing $11.6 million and selling 157,070 tickets (compared to the 113,040 ticket count for BTS at the Rose Bowl). The stadium ranking is rounded out by Manchester’s Etihad Stadium, with a $10.8 million gross from the first two of three Spice Girls shows (the third show played on June 1, which will count toward next month’s recap).
Sheeran, the leader of April’s Top Tours chart, is No. 6 in May, adding $19.2 million to The Divide Tour’s total. To date, the two-and-a-half-year trek has grossed $641.8 million, with the final leg of dates playing throughout the summer. Other former monthly champions P!nk (March) and Elton John (February) both appear in the top 10, with monthly grosses of $24.9 million and $13.4 million, respectively.
Though BTS’ stadium shows combine to be the month’s highest-grossing tour, Metallica grabs the most entries on the Top Boxscores chart (Nos. 10-11, 14-15, and 23). Their biggest show of the month was a May 12 engagement at the Stade de France in Paris, where they grossed $6.9 million and sold 74,889 tickets. This is the second full European leg of their ongoing WorldWired Tour, which launched on Feb. 6, 2016, at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. In all, they grossed $28.6 million in May, enough to rank No. 2 on the Top Tours chart. In addition to Metallica’s five and BTS’ four, the Spice Girls and P!nk each notch three boxscores on the May ranking.
Vegas residencies account for some of the most expansive boxscores of the month. Celine Dion (No. 5) and Janet Jackson (No. 21) rank among May’s biggest with long stretches of dates at their home theaters in Nevada. Dion played 11 shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace (No. 1 venue, 5,000 capacity or less) to the tune of $12.7 million and 46,762 tickets, while Jackson played six shows at the Park Theater (No. 2 venue, 5,001-10,000 capacity) for a gross of $4.1 million and nearly 25,000 tickets sold. On the other side of the pond, Take That played eight shows at London’s O2 arena (No. 1 venue, 15,001+ capacity). Their mini-residency hits No. 3 on the Top Boxscores chart with $13.4 million and 118,427 tickets sold.