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Disney’s The Lion King has been a historic success on Broadway and is very close to becoming the first ever $1 billion show in Broadway history.
The show began previews on Oct. 15, 1997 and, almost 16 years later, will hit the $1 billion mark the the week ending on Oct. 20, reports Entertainment Weekly. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show has grossed $997 million through Oct. 6.
The Lion King, which is based on Disney’s classic 1994 animated film and features music by Tim Rice and Elton John, is also close to becoming the fifth-longest running show in Broadway history. It is close to overtaking Les Miserables for sole ownership of that milestone.
Unlike other shows, Lion King has succeeded without raising ticket prices to levels completely out of reach for families. The peak price is $199 and the average ticket costs $130.
“This humbling milestone is a testament to the vision and artistry of [director] Julie Taymor," Thomas Schumacher, producer and Disney Theatrical Group president, said.
It’s worth noting that the show’s worldwide tours have grossed $5 billion, putting it just behind the $5.6 billion total gross for The Phantom of the Opera’s world tour. Phantom is still the longest-running show in Broadway history. However, according to Playbill stats, it has grossed $928.7 billion on Broadway, putting it behind Lion King.
image: Wikimedia Commons