The box office at a theatre.
- a place where admission tickets are sold, as in a theater
- ☆ Informal
- the power of a show or performer to attract a paying audience
- a show, etc. considered with regard to this power
- A booth, as in a theater or stadium, where tickets are sold.
- a. The drawing power of a theatrical entertainment or of a performer; popular appeal.b. A factor influencing this power: Notoriety is usually good box office.
- Total attendance for an entertainment; turnout.
- The amount of money received from ticket sales for an entertainment.
Origin of box officeSo named because it was originally an office for the booking of boxes in a theater.
(countable and uncountable, plural box offices)
1786, presumably from sales of boxes, box seats (“separated private seating”). Sense of “total sales” from 1904.
Folk etymology is that this derives from Elizabethan theatre, where theater admission was collected in a box attached to a long stick, passed around the audience. However, first attestation is over a century later (theaters were closed in 1642), making this highly unlikely.
- Alternative form of box office.