The final numbers are in, and Madonna’s 2012 “MDNA” tour has retained her box office form, clocking in at $305,158,363 gross with 2,212,345 in attendance over 88 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore. The tour began in Israel last May 31 and finished in Argentina on Dec. 22, hitting Europe, Asia and North America in between.
The “MDNA” final box office tally is enough to rank “MDNA” No. 10 all-time in tours as reported to Boxscore, sandwiched between the Rolling Stones’ “Licks” tour of 2002-2003 ($311 million) and the Stones’ “Bridges To Babylon” tour of 1997-98 ($274 million). This is Madonna’s second time in the Boxscore Top 10; the “Sticky & Sweet” tour of 2008-09 was third all-time at $408 million, the highest ever for a solo artist. Her 2006 “Confessions” tour came in at $194 million. All of these tours, including “MDNA,” were produced by Live Nation’s Global Touring division, headed by LNGT chairman Arthur Fogel, who predicted to Billboard in April that MDNA would end up a Boxscore Top 10 tour.
Had “MDNA” played Australian stadiums, as was initially considered, the tour would have moved up a few notches up the all-time list. As it stood and as it stands, “MDNA” was the highest-grossing tour for 2012 according to Boxscore, making it Madonna’s third time closing a year at the top of the box office heap, the others being 2009 and 2004. Madonna joined the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Bon Jovi as the only acts to be Billboard’s highest-grossing tour twice in a three-year span, and “MDNA” gives Fogel and Live Nation their sixth top tour over the past 10 years.
“MDNA” highlights were many, with the run through South America being notably successful. The five highest Boxscores on the tour were:
- Estadio Atanasio Gerardo in Medellin, Colombia, Nov. 28-29 ($14.7 million gross, 90,018 attendance)
- Yankee Stadium in New York Sept. 6 and 8($12.6 million, 79,775)
- Foro Sol in Mexico City Nov. 24-25 ($11.6 million,84,382)
- Estadio Rive Plate in Buenos Aires ($10.8 million, 89,226)
- Estadio do Morumbi in Sao Paulo Dec. 4-5 ($8.4 million, 85,255)
In North America, “MDNA” did best — not counting Yankee Stadium — at:
- Plains of Abraham in Quebec Sept. 1 ($8 million, 70,569)
- Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Sept. 12-13 ($7.5 million, 32,557)
- The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Oct. 13-14 ($7.2 million, 24,991)
- The Staples Center in Los Angeles Oct. 10-11 ($6.2 million, 29,015).
“MDNA” is the second tour under a 10-year multi-rights deal between Madonna and Live Nation, signed in 2007. “MDNA” is Madonna’s fifth tour with Fogel’s team, a run that marks the Material Girl’s ascent into the elite ranks of touring artists and inarguably makes her the top touring female artist of all time.
“It seems like I have said this a number of times following Madonna tours — five times to be precise: the overwhelming global success of the ‘MDNA’ tour proves yet again that Madonna is the greatest female touring artist,” Fogel told Billboard as the tour came to a close. “As this tour takes its place as one of the most successful in history, I can’t help but enjoy the fact that it is the millions of fans who determine that. Thank you to [Madonna manager] Guy Oseary and the entire staff and crew of ‘MDNA.’ ”