THE LION KING
Last night's ABC News focused on the long-running Broadway musical The Lion King. The show, which insiders first predicted would not last more than 15 minutes, is now celebrating 15 years on The Great White Way, earning five Tony Awards and grossing more than $5 billion across the globe. Below, check out the feature story, titled 'The Lion King': Making of the Highest-Grossing Musical.'
As it enters its 16th year, The Lion King is in a position unprecedented in the history of Broadway. Already the highest-grossing and fifth longest-running show in Broadway history, the show is routinely the #1 Broadway show in a given week, a feat previously unimaginable for a show at this stage in its life. As it celebrates 15 years, the show, far from slowing, has actually strengthened recently; to take but one representative bit of data, 25,000 more tickets were sold in its 15th year than in the 14th and 50,000 more tickets were sold than in the 10th.
Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, its worldwide footprint is more remarkable still. With a cumulative gross in excess of $5 billion, the title has already earned more than the biggest hit films in movie history: more than the Lord of the Rings trilogy combined, more than the six Star Wars films combined, and more than Avatar and Titanic, the #1 and #2 highest-grossing films in movie history, combined.
With eight productions currently playing around the world, it will make its South American and Portuguese language debut when it begins performances in Sao Paolo, Brazil in February 2013. With that production, The Lion King’s 21 productions will have played in 98 cities in 16 countries on every continent except Antarctica. The Broadway production has played through three Presidential administrations, four mayoral elections, eight New York City team championships and the opening and closing of 536 Broadway shows.