All three North American productions of Disney's landmark musical event THE LION KING set new house records in the New Year's week ending January 1, 2012, achieving a cumulative gross of $5,345,082.
The Broadway production grossed $2,444,032 at the Minskoff Theatre during the sold-out nine performance week, a house record and the highest weekly gross in the show's 14 year run. (The previous records were set week ending 11/27/2011 when THE LION KING grossed $2,079,616 on eight performances.)
The show's North American touring production broke Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre box office record for a Broadway engagement grossing $1,531,590 for nine performances the week ending January 1. And in its final week at the Mandalay Bay Theatre in Las Vegas, THE LION KING grossed $1,369,460 on eight performances, a house record for the Mandalay Bay Theatre and the highest grossing week in that production's two and a half year run.
In its 15th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant, continuing to reign as a cultural phenomenon and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 19 productions around the globe have been seen by more than 63 million people, grossed over $4.7 billion and have, cumulatively, run a staggering 89 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is the seventh longest-running musical in Broadway history and one of only six productions in theatre history to play for ten years or more both on Broadway and in the West End. Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish), the show has been performed in 15 different countries on five continents. THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, on stages across North America, and in Tokyo, London's West End, Hamburg and Madrid.
THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical, making Taymor the first woman in theatrical history bestowed with the honor. THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
On stage, Taymor's creative vision blends elements of African art and Broadway artisanship to depict anthropomorphic animal characters. Taymor, along with designer Michael Curry, has created hundreds of masks and puppets for THE LION KING. The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film's screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.
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, Julie 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. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" to the haunting ballad "Shadowland."
For tickets, show information and performance schedules for the Broadway production and North American tour of THE LION KING, visit LionKing.com.