The Lion King stage musical has officially become the highest grossing entertainment production in any media in the world.
The theatre version of the hit Disney film, featuring music by Sir Elton John and Sir Tim Rice, opened in 1997 and recently became the first Broadway show to rack up $1 billion in profits, and now the musical has roared its way into the record books once more by earning $6.2 billion in worldwide box office sales.
Data compiled by Disney bosses reveal touring and international versions of the show have now been seen by more than 75 million people in 22 global productions.
Continue reading: The Lion King Musical Sets Global Box Office Record
The Broadway cast of The Lion King surprised commuters on a New York subway ride with a rendition of 'The Circle of Life'.
They first made headlines back in April when a video of them singing acapella on a flight from Brisbane went viral, but now the Broadway cast of hit musical 'The Lion King' are back in the spotlight after staging a flash mob performance of 'The Circle of Life' on a New York subway train. Apparently filmed between a matinee and evening performance, the cast board the train dressed in plain clothes and once it starts moving, treat their fellow passengers to a taste of the Tony-award winning musical. Whilst some of the commuters look a little bemused, others are clearly enjoying the spontatenous performance, and high-five the performers at the end of the song.
Whilst most people wouldn't want to be stuck on the subway in summer, this would certainly make for a journey worth remembering. 'The Lion King' first opened on Broadway in 1997 and has been running ever since, recently declared the first musical to make over $1 billion at the box office. The lyrics were written by musical maestro Tim Rice and the music composed by Elton John, and the musical has gone on to enchant audiences around the world.
Continue reading: Lion King Broadway Cast Surprises Subway Commuters
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.
Continue reading: The Lion King Is Broadway's Highest-grossing Show Of 2013
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."
Continue reading: Angelina Jolie And Family Visit Lion King Cast In Sydney
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.
Continue reading: The Lion King To Become Broadway's First $1 Billion Grossing Show
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.
Continue reading: The Lion King Is Broadway's All-time Highest Grossing Show
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.
Continue reading: More Disney Classics Returning To Big Screen
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 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.
Continue reading: The Lion King 3d Mauls Competition At U.s. Box Office
One of Disney's greatest achievements, this is to my knowledge the only animated film to be turned into a Broadway musical. (Beauty and the Beast doesn't count, since that film had prior life outside the Disneyverse.)
The Lion King is primarily memorable because it's not based on a fairy tale or a children's story, and thus avoids the cliches that saddle so many Disney flicks. There's no "love conquers all" message, no moral about how trying hard will make everything come out OK. In fact, for much of its running time, The Lion King says the exact opposite: Hakuna Matata means "no worries," right? It's in the past, so let it go. But The Lion King also tells us that we can learn from the past, that tyrants should be overthrown, and that we should own up to our mistakes in the end.
This also makes The Lion King one of Disney's most adult movies. Though it's rated G, it features numerous scenes of peril and death -- with lion cub Simba orphaned after his uncle kills off his dad to usurp the throne and title of king of the jungle. But that too is part of the famed Circle of Life. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Simba runs off to live in the jungle -- gettin' real, ya know -- stricken with guilt that he (thinks he) killed his father. Eventually he returns home to showdown with evil uncle Scar, who has been ruling the jungle with an iron fist, disrupting the Circle of Life.
The Lion King is one of Disney's last great 2-D creations, with computers aiding in some truly stellar moments such as the wildebeest stampede. Lots of perspective shots and moving cameras make this one of the genre's most film-like movies.
If there's anything annoying about the film, it's the singing, young Simba sounds like a young Michael Jackson. On the new song added to the just-out DVD release of the movie, the atrociously vapid "Morning Report," he sounds like a castrato Michael Jackson. You almost don't want him to succeed, but thankfully, Simba eventually grows up and is replaced, voice-wise, by Matthew Broderick. By way of other extras, there's a whole second disc of goodies, including an extensive selection of making-of footage, a deleted scene or two, an alternate first verse of "Hakuna Matata," a special home theater audio mix (sounds good), and about a bazillion kid-friendly features like games and singalongs.
The Lion King has rightfully spawned one of the most enduring industrial complexes ever to come from an animated cat. Way to go, Disney.
Join the Disney Movie Club and get three free Disney DVDs!
Ah, the majesty.