Metallica is having a moment right now. No, we're not talking about the fact that President Trump entered the White House to "Enter Sandman" blaring. We're talking about the massive success their most recent tour was. They grossed over $30 million in just five shows last week.
This led to industry tour analyst Pollstar to really look at the numbers. After crunching the numbers, they determined that Metallica sold over 22 million tickets and grossed $1.4 billion in touring since 1982. Take a look at the number breakdown:
Making the case for Metallica as the biggest all-time touring band is not difficult. The numbers speak for themselves: according to Pollstar Boxoffice, Metallica sold nearly 22.1 million total tickets and grossed some $1.4 billion since 1982, dwarfing huge rock bands of the era including AC/DC (14.3 million tickets) and Ozzy Osbourne (10 million, 13.2 if counting Ozzy plus Black Sabbath). The closest competitor on dollars grossed is Guns N’ Roses, with nearly $800 million grossed largely thanks to the band’s mammoth "Not In This Lifetime" reunion tour.
Those 22.1 million tickets puts them in select company, including just behind the one and only U2 – which until recently held the all-time touring record on its "360" run – solidifying Metallica’s rightful place as one of the biggest bands in the world, and still growing. Over the past five years alone, the band’s headline touring business puts them in a class with not only U2, but The Rolling Stones as well as newcomers like Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. However, when accounting for the reach of Metallica’s business – which includes breaking a slew of attendance records on their current tour clear to Moscow – while playing 48 countries and every single continent (including Antarctica) over the course of their career, fervent and rabid merch consumption totaling $125 million in North America since the Black Album and into the high teens per-head on its latest touring, and the band’s road touring with no-gimmick reunion or farewell announcement necessary to drum up extra business – and Metallica may just be the biggest band in the world.
Pollstar adds that the band's current tour has grossed over $430 million on 4.1 million tickets sold (That's an average ticket price of about $105 a ticket).
The band has also given back. Their charity, All Within My Hands foundation, has already donated over $2 million to local charities.