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“The Lion King” is Breaking Records and Playing in Orlando

The Lion King has become nearly as popular and synonymous with Broadway as The Phantom of the Opera, so it shouldn’t be surprising to know that the former has now broken The Phantom’s record of being the highest-grossing show at the Broadway box office.

The record has been broken, but just barely. Since Phantom opened on Broadway in 1988, it has grossed $853.1 million. Lion King on the other hand, opening nearly a decade later in 1997, has grossed $853.8 million since its opening. A spokesperson at Disney Theatrical Productions said that the estimates had not been adjusted to reflect the inflation rate, and that the figures for both shows are based on total gross ticket sales for Broadway productions only, and that shows done in other global venues have not been considered.

But does this really make Lion King more popular than Phantom? It’s hard to say without inflation being worked into the numbers, but even more difficult to guess when you consider the difference between ticket prices for the two shows. A report from the Broadway League, the national trade association for Broadway, the average ticket price for The Lion King is $155.09; while tickets for Phantom come in at an average of only $98.97.

Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical, says that there is one person responsible for the success of The Lion King — director Julie Taymor. He says, “Her vision, continued commitment to the show and uncommon artistry account for this extraordinary success.”

The Lion King is currently playing at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando, Florida with shows running through until May 13.

What would you rather go see? The Lion King, or The Phantom of the Opera?

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