As of the week ending Oct. 20, The Lion King is on track to become the first Broadway musical to gross $1 billion at the box office. The Tony-winning international hit The Phantom of the Opera, which premiered in January 1988 and is now entering its 26th year on Broadway, trails The Lion King with a gross of $930 million expected by Oct. 20.
The national tour of The Lion King beat its flagship Broadway predecessor to the $1 billion mark earlier this summer.
"This humbling milestone is a testament to the vision and artistry of Julie Taymor," said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, in a statement. "For nearly 17 years she has been The Lion King's guiding creative force and an inspiration to the show's brilliant cast, musicians and crew. But above all, we thank our loving audiences who continue to be moved and delighted night after night at the Minskoff Theatre and all around the world."
The Lion King's numerous awards include six Tony Awards, including one for Best Musical; eight Drama Desk Awards; six Outer Critics Circle Awards; two Sir Laurence Oliviers; the Evening Standard Award for Best Theatrical Event; and three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice's music from "The Lion King" animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, The Lion King currently plays Broadway's Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street). For tickets, show information and performance schedule, call Ticketmaster's Disney on Broadway hotline at (866) 870-2717 or visit LionKing.com.