"The Lion King," which opened on Broadway in 1997, has a cumulative gross thus far of $853,846,062, while the gross of "Phantom," which debuted in New York in 1988, is $853,122,847, The Hollywood Reporter said.
"Naturally, we're humbled by this milestone, a feat that can be explained in two words: Julie Taymor," Thomas Schumacher, producer and president Disney Theatrical Productions, said in a statement about the Tony Award-winning musical's director and costume designer. "Her vision, continued commitment to the show and uncommon artistry account for this extraordinary success. Above all, 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 theater is our show's greatest legacy."