'The Lion King' surpasses 'Phantom of the Opera' as box-office champ
"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.
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.
-- David Ng
Photo: New York's Minskoff Theatre, home of "The Lion King." Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press