The Broadway production “The Lion King” has officially earned more money than “any work in any media in entertainment history,” says the Associated Press.
Late this summer, the show topped $6 billion, out-earning “The Phantom of the Opera,” any of the Harry Potter movies, Titanic, and Avatar, which made $2.8 billion at the box office. This total doesn’t include sales of souvenirs or ticket sales for the animated film. “The Lion King” hit the Broadway stage in 1997.
The show has managed to stay atop the Broadway box office despite competition like “The Book of Mormon,” which performs in larger theaters with higher ticket prices. When I saw “The Lion King” not long after it first opened, its ticket price was high by late-90s standards. These days, tickets range in price from $89 to $229. Last week, the average price was $128.
There have been 22 productions of “The Lion King” around the world, with 75 million having seen the show.
The AP credits good marketing, the film’s popularity and the tie-in, along with an appeal to both residents of the cities where its performed and tourists for the show’s ongoing success. Not long after the Tony awards were handed out, we noted a number of show closings because of low ticket sales. So competition is fierce and it takes a solid return each day to keep a live show going.
Have you see “The Lion King”? Even if you don’t see this show, we’d like to encourage you to see a live show — drama, musical, dance, whatever. There’s nothing quite like it.