‘The Lion King’ surpasses ‘Phantom of the Opera’ as box-office champ

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‘The Lion King’ has dethroned ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ as Broadway’s all-time box-office champion. The Disney musical, based on the popular animated movie, has grossed a total of $853.8 million since opening on Broadway in 1997.

The gross figure, which represents Broadway box-office receipts only and not worldwide revenue, was confirmed by a spokeswoman at Disney Theatrical Productions. She said the figure has not been adjusted for inflation.


‘Phantom’ has grossed approximately $853.1 million since opening in 1988.

The crowning of ‘The Lion King’ as Broadway’s new box-office leader comes with a caveat, however. The Disney musical has benefited from higher ticket prices than ‘Phantom.’

Figures provided by the Broadway League show that the average ticket price for ‘The Lion King’ was recently $155.09, compared with a recent average ticket price for ‘Phantom’ of $98.97.

Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical, singled out Julie Taymor, who directed ‘The Lion King,’ for the success of the show. ‘Her vision, continued commitment to the show and uncommon artistry account for this extraordinary success,’ he said in a statement released this week. The praise should come as welcome words to Taymor, who has been in the news in recent months for her ongoing legal battle with the producers of ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.’ Taymor was booted from the director’s chair of the mega-musical and has since sued its producers.


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-- David Ng