The U2 tour will probably gross $750 million by the time it finishes in 2010, according to band manager Paul McGuinness.
He told the Financial Times that the 44 sold-out dates since June, which saw the band play in front of 3.2 million people, grossed about $320 million.
With a similar number of dates planned for 2010, he calculates the full tour should gross about $750 million including merchandise sales, dwarfing the $389 million the act grossed on the Vertigo tour in 2005 and 2006.
He says using the 360º stage has enabled each venue to increase capacity by one-fifth. Partly because of the custom-built, claw-shaped set, the tour costs are about $750,000 a day, “whether we play or not.”
He says the tour should still be “highly profitable” but very often that gross figure is carelessly written about as having gone “straight into Bono’s pocket.”
McGuinness also told the FT about the importance of attention to detail when auditing the band’s payments from record companies and publishers.
“On not one of those occasions did we fail to uncover an underpayment,” he said.