Although The Phantom of the Opera still reins as the longest-running show in Broadway history, The Lion King took an important honor from the popular show this week. On Monday, it was announced that the show has surpassed Phantom to become the highest-grossing show in Broadway history.
The Lion King earned this honor with a total cumulative gross of $853,846,062, as compared to Phantom‘s previously record-holding gross of $853,122,847. While Phantom has been running on Broadway for ten years longer than The Lion King–the former opened in 1988, while Lion King opened in 1997–the Disney Theatricals juggernaut was able to earn this honor due to the larger capacity of their Broadway theater and higher top ticket price. Last week, The Lion King grossed $2,081,189 with an average top ticket price of $155.09 in the 1,677-seat Minskoff Theater, while Phantom of the Opera took in $1,262,881, with a top ticket price of $98.97 at the 1,605-seat Majestic Theater. Neither musical shows any sign of ending their Broadway run in the near future.
In a statement, president of Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher said about the honor:
“Naturally we’re humbled by this milestone, a feat that can be explained in two words: Julie Taymor. Her vision, continued commitment to the show and uncommon artistry account for this extraordinary success. We also salute Andrew Lloyd Webber and our Mary Poppins partner Cameron Mackintosh on Phantom of the Opera, a global phenomenon of historic proportions. Above all, this accomplishment belongs to our audiences, millions of whom are experiencing their first Broadway show at The Lion King. Surely, introducing so many to the splendor of live theatre is our show’s greatest legacy.”
The Lion King is currently playing at Broadway’s Minskoff Theater. For more information about the show and to purchase tickets, visit www.lionking.com.