‘The Lion King’ pips Phantom of The Opera to become Broadway king

London: ‘The Lion King’ became the all-time highest grossing show on Broadway last week, beating out previous leader ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’. According to latest box office figures, the cumulative gross for ‘The Lion King’ is 853,846,062 dollars, whereas its rival’s grand total is 853,122,847 dollars, the musical’s publicist revealed.

‘The Lion King’ netted over 2 million dollars at the box office for the week ending Easter Sunday, while ‘Phantom’ pulled in about 1.2 million dollars. What makes the achievement all the more remarkable is that ‘The Lion King’ chased down and grabbed the title despite ‘Phantom’ having almost a full 10 years’ head start.

The Disney show opened in November 1997, while ‘Phantom’ debuted in January 1988. Cary Ginell, a music historian and biographer, is not surprised with the news.

“It’s a spectacle that satisfies on many different sensory elements – audio, visually, emotionally,” a leading daily has quoted Ginell as saying.

“For the kids, it’s the visual elements – the colors, 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,” the music historian added.

‘The Phantom of the Opera’, now in its 24th year, is still the longest-running show in Broadway history, with more than 10,000 performances and it has sold many more tickets than its Disney rival on the Great White Way, a staggering 14.8 million so far. In comparison, ‘The Lion King’ looks like a pup: It is the sixth longest-running show on Broadway with over 5,900 performances over 14 years and has sold just over 10 million tickets.


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