'Lion King' is now Broadway's top-grossing show of all time
There's a new king on Broadway.
The 14-year-old smash hit "The Lion King" last week became the highest-grossing Broadway show of all time, racking up a total $854,038,152.43 in sales as of Sunday, according to data released Monday by the Broadway League, which compiles ticket-sale totals.
The Disney show, which scored six Tony Awards in 1998, inched past "The Phantom of the Opera," which by Sunday had totaled $853,122,847.74 in sales.
"This accomplishment belongs to our audiences, millions of whom are experiencing their first Broadway show at 'The Lion King,'" Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Productions, told the Associated Press, which first reported the story.
"Surely, introducing so many to the splendor of live theater is our show's greatest legacy," he added.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the milestone is that the show has been playing on Broadway for nearly 10 years less than "Phantom," which debuted in 1988. ("The Lion King" first hit the stage in November 1997.)
Still, "Phantom" remains the longest-running show in Broadway history, now in its 24th year with more than 10,000 performances. "The Lion King" is currently Broadway's sixth-longest-running show, with just under 6,000 performances.
Follow reporter Tim Herrera on Twitter: @tim_herrera