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'Lion King' Crowned Most Popular Broadway Show, Beating Out 'Phantom'

By Meredith Hoffman | April 10, 2012 1:03pm

MIDTOWN — "The Lion King" has claimed the crown as Broadway's highest-grossing show of all time.

The musical has earned a total of $853,846,062, beating out longtime Broadway favorite "The Phantom of the Opera" for the top spot, the Associated Press reported. "The Lion King," based on the popular Disney film, out-earned Andrew Llloyd Webber's "Phantom" by more than $720,000.

"The Lion King" reportedly made $2 million last week alone, nearly double the $1.2 million gross profit of "Phantom" the same week, box office figures showed.

"The Lion King" won out despite the fact that it opened in November 1997, while "Phantom" has been on stage since January 1988.

The jungle-themed play's higher ticket prices and larger theater have reportedly helped it surpass profits for "Phantom." "The Lion King's" average admission price last week was $155.09, compared to $98.87 for "Phantom," reports said.

Musical historian Cary Ginell told the AP that "The Lion King" has thrived because of its excitement and wide appeal — much like a Disneyland ride.

"It's a spectacle that satisfies on many different sensory elements — audio, visually, emotionally," Ginell said.