Bad Bunny toured in theaters and arenas throughout 2018-2019. But in the time since, with concert venues shut down, the Puerto Rican rapper transformed from an ascendant Latin star to a global icon. Following the release of two chart-topping 2020 albums, Bad Bunny’s return to the stage — El Ultimo Tour del Mundo (named after his 2020 album of the same name) — spent February and March of 2022 breaking records across the country.
The tour’s 35 shows grossed $116.8 million and sold 575,000 tickets according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore. That breaks down to $3.3 million and 16,400 tickets per night, or $4.7 million and more than 23,000 tickets in each market, considering he played multiple shows in eight cities.
These figures are, like many other things in the last two years, unprecedented. For one, it makes it the highest grossing tour by a Latin artist in Billboard Boxscore’s three-decades-plus history, bypassing Luis Miguel’s $101 million take in 2018-19.
On a show-by-show basis, Bad Bunny transcends his genre. One of the tour’s highlights, a double-header at Inglewood’s The Forum on Feb. 25-26, grossed a staggering $9.6 million from 33,245 tickets sold. Based on that engagement’s per-night average of $4.8 million, it’s easily the L.A.-area arena’s top-grossing event in Boxscore history, blasting past the Eagles $3 million pace from October 2021.
The only engagements with higher total grosses at The Forum are the Eagles’ six-show stretch from Jan. 15-25, 2014, and U2’s five-show run from May 26-June 3, 2015, each barely edging out Bad Bunny with $9.9 million each. The Eagles out-grossed Bad Bunny by just 2.5%, despite playing three times the shows.
Jbeau Lewis, Bad Bunny’s agent at United Talent Agency, estimates that the in-the-round setup added up to 5,000 seats per show compared to a general front-facing stage, possibly contributing more than 150,000 tickets across the entire tour.
Still, how does one maximize their gross in an indoor venue with a limited number of seats? While Bad Bunny’s nightly attendance of 16,623 at The Forum is in line with other sold-out shows by Garth Brooks, Harry Styles and fellow Latin crossover Ozuna (16,863), Bad Bunny saw ticket prices surge under the new industry standard of dynamic pricing. Prices fluctuate like those of airline flights, flexible to demand, which, unlike the number of seats at The Forum, was not in limited supply when the tour went on sale last year. Original prices ranged from $500 to $50 and shifted based on the pent-up demand for Bad Bunny during the pandemic.
Lewis told Billboard, “When El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo launched in April 2021, demand for tickets was unprecedented. According to Ticketmaster, it was the third-highest sales day for any tour of all time, and would likely have broken the record had there been more dates to add!”
It wasn’t just the West Coast that lit up for Bad Bunny. His three shows at FTX Arena in Miami (April 1-3) earned a similarly head-spinning $12.4 million from 55,000 tickets sold. Not only is it the venue’s biggest engagement ever on a per-night basis, but it’s also the highest-grossing Boxscore at FTX in pure total revenue.
His performances at Orlando’s Amway Center, Portland’s Moda Center and Houston’s Toyota Center, among others, each broke its respective venue’s all-time earnings records. On a per-night basis, add Denver’s Ball Arena, San Diego’s Pechanga Arena, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena and more. By the end of the tour, Bad Bunny re-wrote local gross records in more than half of the cities he visited – 13 to be exact.
Bad Bunny crowned February’s Top Tours chart and will appear on March’s list, which will publish later this month, as well as April’s with the three Miami shows. In doing so, he became the first Spanish-language artist to top the monthly chart.
El Ultimo Tour del Mundo wrapped this weekend but, despite its name, won’t be the last we see of Bad Bunny on stage this year. He’ll begin the World’s Hottest Tour in August, leveling up to stadiums. That limitless demand that Lewis referenced from last year’s on-sale put Bad Bunny in a rarified space, selling tickets to a global stadium tour before his arena run even began. World’s Hottest Tour kicks off on Aug. 5 in Orlando with 21 shows in the U.S. and 22 in Latin America.
El Ultimo Tour del Mundo was promoted by Cardenas Marketing Network, a U.S.-based Latin music concert promoter that has had wide-ranging success with Marc Anthony, Maluma, Wisin Y Yandel, and others.
According to Henry Cardenas, “Bad Bunny is a unicorn! This uniquely talented artist comes in a lifetime. For two hours, his electrifying performance has 18,000 fans on their feet and he’s done this by connecting with his audience through his music, his lyrics, his passionate performance and his unique fashion style. It’s a privilege to be a part of this amazing tour!”
In total, Bad Bunny has grossed a reported $190.6 million and sold 1.4 million tickets across his career. By the end of 2022, those numbers will be much, much higher.