With Marvel movies and featured animated titles like “Frozen” in the theaters, and new Disney pop-stars dominating the small-screen and album charts, its safe to say Disney had a terrific year. You can also add record-breaking Broadway productions to that list of accomplishments as THE LION KING, broke the house record at the Minskoff Theatre last week with a gross of $2,837,158.00 on nine performances. This breaks the previous record for a nine performance week of $2,666,565.50 for the week ending December 30, 2012.
Now in its 17th year (yes that makes us feel old), and having recently passed Les Misérables to become the 4th longest-running show on Broadway, THE LION KING finds itself in a position unprecedented in the history of Broadway. Already the highest-grossing show in Broadway history, the show is routinely the #1 Broadway show in a given week, a feat previously unimaginable for a show at this stage in its life. The production recently became the first show in Broadway history to pass $1 billion in cumulative gross, an achievement made by the North American tour of THE LION KING earlier this year.
The award-winning musical returned to Australia this month, marking the tenth concurrent worldwide production of THE LION KING, the highest number of productions running at any one time in the show’s history. Five of those productions have been running for 10 years or longer, an accomplishment shared by only one other show in history.
Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, THE LION KING’s worldwide footprint is remarkable. With a cumulative gross in excess of $5 billion, the title has already earned more than the biggest hit films in movie history: more than the Lord of the Rings trilogy combined, more than the six Star Wars films combined, and more than Avatar and Titanic, the two highest-grossing films in movie history, combined.
Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 21 global productions have been seen by more than 70 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 104 years. Translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway and on tour across North America, in Tokyo and on tour in Japan, in London’s West End and on tour throughout the UK, and in Australia, Hamburg, Madrid and Sao Paolo. To date, THE LION KING has played 18 countries on every continent except Antarctica.
The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award® for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, THE LION KING is playing at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street). For tickets, show information and performance schedule, call Ticketmaster’s Disney on Broadway hotline at 866-870-2717 or visit online, LionKing.com.