The Lion King Is Broadway's Highest-grossing Show Of 2013
30th December 2013
Hit musical The Lion King is continuing its reign over the Broadway box office after banking almost $97 million (£64.7 million) in ticket sales in 2013.
The stage show, featuring the songs of Sir Elton John and Sir Tim Rice, has been a popular choice among theatregoers ever since it opened in New York in 1997, and 16 years later, it has been crowned the year's highest-grossing production on the Great White Way.
The Lion King, which recently became the first Broadway show to earn $1 billion, pulled in $2.8 million (£1.87 million) over nine performances in the week leading up to Sunday (29Dec13), setting a new record for the Minskoff Theatre, which has staged the show since 2006.
The Book of Mormon, created by South Park cartoonists Trey Parker and Matt Stone, finished the year in second place on the Broadway League group's new poll with $90.4 million (£60.3 million).
Other big hits on Broadway in the past 12 months include Kinky Boots, Chicago and Wicked, which became the first Broadway show ever to break the $3 million (£2 million) barrier in a single week by scoring $3.2 million (£2.13 million) at the box office last week (ends29Dec13).
The Lion King
Angelina Jolie And Family Visit Lion King Cast In Sydney
10th December 2013
Angelina Jolie and her family surprised the cast of an Australian production of The Lion King musical by meeting them backstage at a matinee performance on Sunday (08Dec13).
Jolie, her partner Brad Pitt and their six children enjoyed a day on a luxury yacht in Sydney harbour last week (ends08Dec13), and on Sunday, the actress took the kids to an afternoon performance of the Disney musical at Sydney's Capitol Theatre.
The Wanted star and her brood were photographed talking to the performers and posing with the cast before leaving a note on the backstage wall, writing, "Amazing show! Much love, Angelina Jolie."
Production staff boasted about the visit by posting pictures on the show's official Facebook page with the caption, "A very special guest joined us for the Sunday matinee today - Angelina Jolie!"
The actress is in the country shooting upcoming World War Ii drama Unbroken.
Angelina Jolie, The Lion King, Ii
The Lion King To Become Broadway's First $1 Billion Grossing Show
17th October 2013
Musical The Lion King is set to become Broadway's first show to reach $1 billion in grosses, according to new box office estimates.
The musical adaptation of Disney's hit animated movie is slated to reach a musical theatre milestone, earning the 10-figure gross following the week of performances ending 20 October (13).
The production debuted in 1997, and is even beating out the Broadway's longest-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera, which has been entertaining audiences since 1988, but has yet to reach the billion dollar mark.
The Disney production, which features music from Sir Elton John and direction from former Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark visionary Julie Taymor, will also become the fourth longest-running show on Broadway in a few weeks, edging out revolutionary musical, Les Miserables.
The Lion King
The Lion King Is Broadway's All-time Highest Grossing Show
9th April 2012
Family musical The Lion King has surpassed The Phantom Of The Opera as Broadway's highest grossing show of all time, according to new box office estimates.
The production has raked in a total of $853,846,062 (Gbp533,654,039) since its 1997 debut - over $700,000 (Gbp437,500) more than Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom.
And President of Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher, is thrilled by the amazing feat, telling the Associated Press, "This accomplishment belongs to our audiences, millions of whom are experiencing their first Broadway show at The Lion King. Surely, introducing so many to the splendor of live theatre is our show's greatest legacy."
The Disney production, which features tunes from Sir Elton John and direction from former Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark visionary Julie Taymor, is the sixth longest-running show on Broadway.
The Lion King, Phantom Of The Opera
Fascinating Fact 12394
14th November 2011
Disney musical The Lion King celebrated 14 years on Broadway on Sunday (13Nov11).
The Lion King
More Disney Classics Returning To Big Screen
5th October 2011
Movie bosses have announced they are re-releasing four of Disney's biggest animated classics following the huge success of The Lion King.
Since it was revived last month (Sep11), The Lion King in 3d has added an extra $80 million (£50 million) in ticket sales for the 1994 hit.
Now thanks to its second success at the box office, Disney and subsidiary Pixar are set to bring back Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and The Little Mermaid for new audiences.
Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios, says, "Great stories and great characters are timeless, and at Disney we're fortunate to have a treasure trove of both.
"We're thrilled to give audiences of all ages the chance to experience these beloved tales in an exciting new way with 3d - and in the case of younger generations, for the first time on the big screen."
Beauty and the Beast will be released in January (12), followed by Finding Nemo in September 2012, Monsters, Inc. in January 2013 and The Little Mermaid in September 2013.
The Lion King
The Lion King Chases Off U.s. Box Office Competition
26th September 2011
The 3D re-release of Disney classic The Lion King has chased off competition to remain top of the U.S. box office - the animated film raked in $22.1 million (£13.8 million) at the weekend (23-25Sep11).
Brad Pitt's baseball drama Moneyball slid into second place with an impressive opening of $20.6 million (£12.9 million), narrowly beating Morgan Freeman's family movie Dolphin Tale, which came in a close third with takings of $20.3 million (£12.7 million).
Taylor Lautner's new action movie Abduction ($11.2 million/£7 million) came in at four and Robert De Niro's thriller Killer Elite ($9.5 million/£5.9 million) rounded out the top five.
The Lion King
The Lion King 3d Mauls Competition At U.s. Box Office
19th September 2011
The 3D re-release of Disney classic The Lion King has roared to the top of the U.S. box office chart, grossing $29.3 million (£18.3 million).
The animated family film, which features the voice of teen idol Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a young Simba, was originally released in 1994, when it opened with takings of more than $40 million (£25 million), and it's proved a big hit the second time around, too.
The Lion King 3D knocked last week's (11Sep11) number one, the star-studded outbreak thriller Contagion, into second place with $14.5 million (£9 million).
Ryan Gosling's Drive enters at three, followed by The Help at four. The remake of 1971 psychological thriller Straw Dogs debuts at five, while Sarah Jessica Parker's new comedy I Don't Know How She Does It only manages to reach sixth place on the weekly chart.
The Lion King
Taymor Swaps Spider-man For The Lion King
17th August 2011
Director Julie Taymor is moving on from her much-maligned Broadway musical Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark to stage a production of The Lion King in Spain.
Taymor walked away from the Spider-Man project in March (11) following extensive delays, a string of bad reviews and safety issues.
The show has since gone on to re-open, but Taymor is looking to the future by taking on a new project - she's overseeing an upcoming production of Disney's The Lion King in Madrid, reports BroadwayWorld.com.
Taymor has a long association with the production - she won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for her work on the show on Broadway.
Julie Taymor, Spider Man, The Lion King
Elton Credits Rice And The Lion King With Big Career Break
11th February 2011
SIR ELTON JOHN has celebrated lyricist SIR TIM RICE to thank for transforming him into a superstar, because he had grown bored of his career before agreeing to write music for Disney hit THE LION KING.
Rice reached out to the Rocket Man in 1993 and invited him to pen tracks for the popular animation, producing tunes including Circle of Life and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, which earned Elton a Best Song Oscar and a Grammy.
The rocker teamed up with Rice again for another Disney film, Aida, in 1999, before going on to compose music for projects such as the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical, and new animated movie Gnomeo & Juliet.
And Elton insists he owes his big break to Rice, because his career "took off" after The Lion King.
He tells American breakfast show Today, "I've been very lucky, very fortunate. Fate plays a huge hand in your career and you have to have the instinct to follow it. I had a phone call in 1993 from Tim Rice and he said, 'Disney are making this brand new film called The Lion King.' I said, 'Of course I'll do it, I've never done anything like this.'
"That opened a huge door for me and it opened the door for Broadway, making our own animation, opened the door for me scoring movies. At that time, I was just making records, touring, making videos, so in 1993 with The Lion King, my career completely changed and took off and thank God it did, because it was boring doing the former three all the time...
"There's no end to what you can do really, if you're lucky enough to be offered the chance."
Elton John, Tim Rice, The Lion King
West End's Lion King Breaks Its Own Ticket Sales Record
5th January 2011
A West End production of THE LION KING has broken its own record for the highest takings in London's famed theatre district's history.
The stage show version of the hit Disney animation garnered a huge $48 million (£32 million) in 2010, $3 million (£2 million) more than the previous year (09). The sum was more than any other production in the West End has taken over a 12-month period.
It also closed the year (10) with the biggest weekly attendance of 18,959 revellers over nine shows.
Overall, nine million tickets have been sold during The Lion King's 11-year run at London's Lyceum Theatre.
The Lion King
Fascinating Fact 10263
3rd November 2010
The Broadway theater where 11-year-old SHANNON TAVAREZ starred in THE LION KING dimmed its lights on Tuesday night (02Nov10) in memory of the late child star, who lost her battle with leukaemia on Monday (01Nov10).
Shannon Tavarez, The Lion King
Goldberg To Make Lion King Cameo
14th January 2010
WHOOPI GOLDBERG is set to thrill theatre-goers in New York City on Thursday night (14Jan10) with a one-off cameo appearance in Broadway musical THE LION KING.
The actress, who voiced one of the characters in the 1994 Disney animated film, will guest star in the stage show at the Minskoff Theatre for one night only.
A statement from Disney Theatrical Productions, the company behind the hit musical, reveals the Oscar-winner will appear in a series of "surprise cameos" throughout Thursday's production.
Footage of Goldberg's turn in The Lion King will air on the star's U.S. talk show The View next week (beg18Jan10).
Whoopi Goldberg, The Lion King
Fascinating Fact 8529
19th December 2009
THE LION KING became the ninth longest-running musical in West End history on Friday night (18Dec09) when its 4,265th performance hit the stage. The Lion King, which is also the ninth longest-running musical on the Broadway stage in New York, is also one of only five musicals in history to play for 10 or more years both on Broadway and in the West End.
The Lion King
Fascinating Fact 6366
14th November 2008
The London and New York cast of hit musical THE LION KING will celebrate the production's 10th anniversary by uniting for a special one-off show at the Royal Variety Performance in London in December (08).
The Lion King
The Things They Say 6300
27th November 2007
"A good friend suggested I use THE LION KING to explain the circle of life when our second dog passed away." Actor BLAIR UNDERWOOD finds Disney films help his kids understand everything about life's tough moments.
The Lion King, Blair Underwood
Lights Out On Broadway As Stagehands Strike
11th November 2007
Broadway has been thrown into turmoil with more than 20 hit plays and musicals including THE LION KING and MAMMA MIA forced to close because of strikes by disgruntled stagehands.
The protestors, who are responsible for moving scenery and equipment, set up picket-lines in front of theatres in New York on Saturday (10Nov07).
The strike comes after three months of negotiations between producers and a union about pay and working conditions failed to produce an agreement. No new talks are scheduled and it is unclear how long the strike will last.
All but eight Broadway shows have been shut down and producers say they plan to pay refunds to people who have bought tickets for cancelled shows. It comes at a time that is traditionally one of Broadway's busiest of the year.
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg warned on the economic consequences of the action. He says, "While this is a private labour matter, the economic impact is very public and will be felt far beyond the theatres closed today."
The Broadway strike comes in the wake of a separate screenwriters' strike which began in Hollywood last week (ends09Nov07), prompted by a disagreement over royalty payments.
The Lion King
Fascinating Fact 3809
23rd August 2007
Disney's THE LION KING has become the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history after playing its 4,098th performance on Tuesday night (21Aug07). That show broke Miss Saigon's top 10 record. The Lion King will officially celebrate its 10th anniversary on 11 November (07).
The Lion King Goes To Africa For The First Time
14th May 2007
The musical adaptation of Walt Disney movie THE LION KING is to be performed in Africa for the first time this summer (07).
The explosive stage show, which tells the story of lion cub Simba in an African wilderness, is set to open in Johannesburg, South Africa on 6 June.
The Lion King opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1997, before being transferred to Broadway in New York a few months later, and has gone on to be one of the most successful musical productions ever.
The show's co-producer Lebo Morake says, "I am overwhelmed. It is a historical moment.
"I want it to be a South African statement, the biggest Lion King ever. I am not going to limit cast and crew to the norm."
John Plays Lion King Song For Hurley's Son
8th March 2007
SIR ELTON JOHN played CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT? for newlyweds ELIZABETH HURLEY and ARUN NAYAR at their wedding blessing on Saturday (03MAR07), especially for the model's son DAMIAN.
Six-year-old Damian is a huge fan of Disney film THE LION KING, which John penned much of the music for, so he decided to play the romantic ballad for the happy couple at their Gloucestershire, England, wedding party.
Hurley says, "My first dance with Arun was magical. Elton was playing's Damian's favourite song, Can You Feel The Love Tonight? and I was sobbing - of course, as I have no self control - but I loved every second of it.
Hudson Thankful For American Idol Experience
16th January 2007
Singer-turned-acting star JENNIFER HUDSON has lavished praise on AMERICAN IDOL after it helped launch her onto the Hollywood stage - and insists she's proud of the time she spent on the reality TV show.
The star, who won Best Supporting Actress at last night's (15JAN07) Golden Globe awards for her portrayal of EFFIE WHITE in DREAMGIRLS, believes her time on the show accelerated her rise to the top. Hudson, who came seventh in the 2004 series of American Idol, admits the show enabled her to retire from her previous career working on a Walt Disney cruise liner.
She says, "Before American Idol, I worked for Disney on their cruise ship line for six months at a time. I narrated and also did all the lead singing for the HERCULES show and also did CIRCLE OF LIFE from THE LION KING.
"I think I was on the right track for my singing career before American Idol, but 'Idol' did help speed my career along. I didn't think things could get any bigger or busier than when I was on Idol, but it has.
"American Idol is part of my history, and I'm proud of it. It's helped me establish myself as a true artist. Now it's up to me to further my career on my own."
Elton Honoured With Disney Legends Award
10th October 2006
Veteran singer SIR ELTON JOHN and late US TV anchor PETER JENNINGS were both honoured with Disney Legends Awards in Los Angeles yesterday (09OCT06).
CROCODILE ROCK star John was recognised alongside lyricist TIM RICE for his soundtrack to THE LION KING.
Jennings was honoured for his decades of service at ABC News. He died of lung cancer in August 2005.
Nine others collected Disney Legends Awards, including actors TOMMY KIRK, KEVIN CORCORAN, TIM CONSIDINE, DAVID STOLLERY and GINNY TYLER.
Elton John, Peter Jennings, Tim Rice, The Lion King, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran
Curtain Comes Down On The Lion King In The Netherlands
31st August 2006
Smash-hit stage musical THE LION KING has closed in The Netherlands after playing to 12 per cent of the country's entire population.
The colourful show debuted in The Netherlands two years ago (MAY04) and played 950 performances. The curtain came down on the production at the weekend (27AUG06).
The Lion King was awarded Best Musical by public vote at the Dutch Musical Awards in 2004.
Meanwhile, it was announced earlier this week (beg28AUG06) that The Lion King will open in Johannesburg, South Africa next summer (JUN07).
The Lion King
The Lion King Heads For South Africa
30th August 2006
Hit musical THE LION KING is going back to its roots after landing a new home in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The African-themed show, which has smashed theatre records around the world, will open in Johannesburg next June (07).
The production will feature a local South African cast, many of whom have been in other productions of The Lion King around the world.
According to theatre website broadwayworld.com, The Lion King has employed almost 100 native South African actors in its productions worldwide.
A new venue, the Montecasino Theatre, is being built especially for the Disney production.
Disney Theatrical Productions president THOMAS SCHUMACHER says, "We have always dreamed of producing our show in South Africa. The music, the culture, and the spirit of the country are an integral part of The Lion King and opening this production brings us full circle."
The Lion King
Heatwave Forces Promoters To Scrap Broadway In The Park Show
3rd August 2006
New York's heatwave has prompted promoters of this week's (03AUG06) Broadway in Bryant Park show to scrap the event.
Organisers fear the Big Apple's current heat emergency will be too much for singers and dancers from the casts of CHICAGO and THE LION KING as they perform gruelling routines and musical numbers outside.
The promoters hope to stage the sixth and final week of the summer series next week (10AUG06).
Chicago, The Lion King
Lloyd Webber Slams State Of West End
31st July 2006
SIR ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER has hit out at the state of West End musicals, blaming their preoccupation with the "feel-good factor" for dwindling ticket sales.
The theatre impresario is dismayed shows aren't brave enough to tackle difficult issues, as he did with SIR TIM RICE in tragic musical EVITA.
Now he's hoping to entice theatre-goers back to musicals with a UK reality TV show advertising for a new star in HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA?, which will give the winner the lead role in his stage revival of THE SOUND OF MUSIC.
The composer says, "The other night I realised that where Tim and I were headed - Evita dies and the last 25 minutes are extremely bleak - was such a different direction to where musicals have landed today. Can you name me an interesting new one? The feel-good factor seems to be the main thing. There's going to be a cataclysmic change in entertainment in the next five years.
"Only three shows are doing any business - BILLY ELLIOT, PHANTOM and THE LION KING. Some shows are losing a $200,000 (GBP100,000) a week. Something completely different needs to happen. I'm concerned that I don't see a commercial future for many West End theatres."
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Evita, The Sound Of Music, Billy Elliot, The Lion King
Fascinating Fact 1851
27th July 2006
Hit musical THE LION KING has been honoured at New York's Madame Tussaud's waxwork museum with its own impressive display. Sculptors have created life-size wax replicas of baboon shaman RAFIKI and villainous lion SCAR as part of a tribute to the record-breaking, Tony Award-winning production.
The Lion King
Lion King Breaks Its Own New York Record
6th July 2006
Hit musical THE LION KING has smashed its own weekly box office record at New York's Minskoff Theatre.
The show grossed over $1.2 million (GBP666,600) during the week ending 2 July (06), beating the Minskoff's record for both eight and nine-performance weeks.
The previous record was held by the same production during the show's opening week at the theatre, with a gross of $1.19 million (GBP661,100).
The phenomenon, which opened on Broadway, New York in 1997, has now been seen by an estimated 34 million people worldwide.
Productions are currently being staged in America, England, The Netherlands, Germany and Japan. The Lion King will open in China and South Korea later this summer (06).
The Lion King
Another Record For The Lion King
21st June 2006
Hit musical THE LION KING continues to smash records around the world - the show has set a new mark at the Minskoff Theatre in New York.
With a gross of $1.19 million (GBP660,000), the musical has beaten the Minskoff's record for both eight and nine-performance weeks.
The previous record there for a nine-performance week was set by FIDDLER IN THE ROOF.
The Lion King will break new ground next month (JUL06) when it premieres at the Shanghai Grand Theatre in China and in Seoul, South Korea in August (06).
The Lion King, Gbp, Fiddler In The Roof, Jul
The Lion King No Longer Roaring Down Under
2nd June 2006
Australia's megahit THE LION KING musical is to close on Sunday (04JUN06), after becoming the nation's biggest stage draw ever.
The hit production enjoyed almost 1,100 performances Down Under and played to 2.2 million people - almost 10 per cent of the population.
The Australian production now heads to China, where it will open in Shanghai on 18 July (06).
The Lion King, Jun