The hit musical adaptation of the film has become the highest earning show in Broadway history.
It started as a hit Disney film, with songs from Elton John, but The Lion King has proved as much of a success on stage as on screen.
Disney Theatrical Productions has announced that the musical has earned $853.8 million (£536.7 million) since it opened on Broadway in 1997. Ticket sales over the Easter weekend pushed the show’s earnings past its nearest rival – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, which has been running on Broadway since 1988.
Thomas Schumacher, producer of Disney Theatrical Productions said Disney was: “humbled by this milestone”.
The musical is directed by Julie Taymor – who worked recently on Spiderman The Musical – and has music by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice.
The show took over $2 million during the Easter weekend, while Phantom made $1.2 million. But these higher takings have been put down to the fact that The Lion King plays in a bigger theatre than Phantom which also has lower ticket prices than its rival.
Phantom still holds the record for worldwide box office for a stage musical, having had global ticket sales of $5.6 billion, over $1 billion dollars more than The Lion King.
In the UK The Lion King has also been hugely successful, with a national tour beginning in August this year. 2011 was the musical’s best financial year to date in the West End. The show broke the industry record for the highest annual gross box office in West End history.
The show has been seen by over 10 million people in the UK.
Source The Telegraph