There’s a new king on Broadway.
The Lion King, adapted from Disney's smash 1994 animated movie, has become the all-time highest-grossing show on Broadway, surpassing Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.
Lion King’s cumulative gross is $853,846,062, while Phantom -- the longest-running show in Broadway history -- has grossed $853,122,847. Lion King won the top spot after it accumulated $2 million at the box office for the week ending April 8. Phantom grossed about $1.2 million in the same time frame.
Lion King opened in November 1997; Phantom has been playing since January 1988.
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“Naturally we’re humbled by this milestone, a feat that can be explained in two words: Julie Taymor,” said Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Productions. “Her vision, continued commitment to the show and uncommon artistry account for this extraordinary success.”
Taymor became the first woman to win a directing Tony Award for her work on Lion King. She also received a Tony for the production's original costume designs. The show won a total of six Tonys in 1998, including best musical and choreography.
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“Above all, this accomplishment belongs to our audiences, millions of whom are experiencing their first Broadway show at The Lion King,” added Schumacher. “Surely, introducing so many to the splendor of live theater is our show’s greatest legacy.”
Disney Theatrical Productions also graciously saluted Webber and Phantom producer Cameron Mackintosh, who partnered with Disney on Mary Poppins.