The musical adaptation of Disney's animated classic "Lion King" has been named the highest ever grosser on Broadway. The theatrical production features songs by Elton John and Tim Rice and has been directed by Julie Taymor.
According to the BBC, the musical has earned £536.7 million since opening in 1997. Its closest rival, "The Phantom of the Opera", has made £536.3 million. "The Lion King" took more than £1.26 million over Easter, while its rival made £755,000.
"'The accomplishment' belonged to our audiences, millions of whom are experiencing their first Broadway show at "The Lion King". Surely, introducing so many to the splendour of live theatre is our show's greatest legacy," Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Productions told the BBC.
"It's a spectacle that satisfies on many different sensory elements - audio, visually, emotionally. For the kids, it's the visual elements - the colours, the costumes and the puppetry. For the adults, it's 'Hamlet,' basically. And the music is not geared to one age or gender or race. It's as universal a show can get," Cary Ginell, a music historian and biographer, was quoted as saying by Perez Hilton.
According to the statistics of the Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway theatre industry, "The Phantom of the Opera" is still the longest-running show in Broadway history, chalking up more than 10,000 performances and 14.8 million tickets sold. "The Lion King", in contrast, has had 5,900 performances and sold 10 million tickets.
The Telegraph reports that in the UK "The Lion King" broke the industry record for the highest annual gross box office in West End history. In fact, the last year proved to be a good year - a national tour of the production is due to start in August.
Lion King was the 32nd animated series of Disney Productions. Directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, the musical tells the story of a young lion Simba, who is about to take the position of his father and become the "lion king". The Broadway adaptation of the series won six Tony awards. Two sequels were made for the movie, "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride" and the "The Lion King 1 ½".