'The Lion King' Breaks Monumental Broadway Record

by Antoinette Bueno 10:54 AM PDT, April 09, 2012
Photo: Getty Images

Move over The Phantom of the Opera -- box office data shows that as of last week, The Lion King is officially Broadway's all-time highest grossing show in history.

According to an AP report, the cumulative gross for The Lion King is $853,846,062, according to the show's numbers. The show officially passed Phantom's earnings ($853,122,847 according to the show) after netting over $2 million at the box office for the week ending Sunday, while Phantom pulled in about $1.2 million.

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"This accomplishment belongs to our audiences, millions of whom are experiencing their first Broadway show at The Lion King," Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Productions said in a statement. "Surely, introducing so many to the splendor of live theater is our show's greatest legacy."

He also praised legendary director Julie Taymor, the director, costume and mask maker of The Lion King.

"Her vision, continued commitment to the show and uncommon artistry account for this extraordinary success," he added.

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But while The Lion King may have won Broadway, it's a different story on the global scale. The total worldwide grosses for Phantom are estimated at over $5.6 billion, while the worldwide haul for Lion King is $4.8 billion. But what makes Lion King's Broadway achievement especially impressive is that managed to out-earn Phantom despite the latter having almost a full 10 years' head start. Higher average ticket prices and a slightly larger theater are credited as big reasons for the surprising victory.