‘Lion’ new king of legit B.O.

NEW YORK — Disney’s “The Lion King” leapt into the Broadway record books last weekend, wrapping an estimated $4 million to become the fastest, biggest ticket-seller in New York’s legit history.

On Friday, the day after the show’s opening at the New Amsterdam Theater, near-universal critical raves and massive media coverage pushed “Lion’s” daily wrap to an astonishing $2.7 million. The one-day box office figure shatters the previous Broadway record of $1.2 million set by Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” in 1994.

A Disney spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the box office figures. The totals were revealed to Daily Variety by a source close to the production.

To put a perspective on the “Lion King” tally, the largest single wrap ever taken by megahit “The Phantom of the Opera” was $921,000, “Rent” scored $728,000 and last year’s hit, “Titanic,” wrapped $355,000 the day after it won a Tony Award for best musical. “The Who’s Tommy” sold $550,000 in tickets the day following an appearance on the 1993 Tony broadcast. (The show lost the best musical nod to “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” which had a daily wrap of $400,000 post-Tony.)

Impressive take

Last Friday’s $2.7 million wrap is all the more impressive because the figure includes only $136,000 in group-sale reservations. In other words, nearly the entire wrap is hard cash. The figure reps approximately 46,000 tickets sold. Disney apparently had to install additional phone lines and computers to keep up with demand.

Director Julie Taymor’s staging of “Lion King” is thought to have cost Disney at least $15 million, although some estimates approach $20 million. Prior to opening, the show’s advance sales totaled more than $16 million, but with weekend sales the advance apparently grew well into the $20 millions.

Even prior to the show’s opening, “Lion King” was wrapping as much as $200,000 a day, selling seats through winter and spring. A new block of tickets through the end of September went on sale the morning after the show opened.

More Legit

  • Farinelli and the King Broadway

    Broadway Box Office: 'Farinelli and the King' Makes Royal Debut

    NEW YORK — Disney’s “The Lion King” leapt into the Broadway record books last weekend, wrapping an estimated $4 million to become the fastest, biggest ticket-seller in New York’s legit history. On Friday, the day after the show’s opening at the New Amsterdam Theater, near-universal critical raves and massive media coverage pushed “Lion’s” daily wrap […]

  • Downtown Race Riot review

    Off Broadway Review: Chloë Sevigny in 'Downtown Race Riot'

    NEW YORK — Disney’s “The Lion King” leapt into the Broadway record books last weekend, wrapping an estimated $4 million to become the fastest, biggest ticket-seller in New York’s legit history. On Friday, the day after the show’s opening at the New Amsterdam Theater, near-universal critical raves and massive media coverage pushed “Lion’s” daily wrap […]

  • Goats review

    London Theater Review: 'Goats'

    NEW YORK — Disney’s “The Lion King” leapt into the Broadway record books last weekend, wrapping an estimated $4 million to become the fastest, biggest ticket-seller in New York’s legit history. On Friday, the day after the show’s opening at the New Amsterdam Theater, near-universal critical raves and massive media coverage pushed “Lion’s” daily wrap […]

  • Describe the Night review

    Off Broadway Review: Rajiv Joseph's 'Describe the Night'

    NEW YORK — Disney’s “The Lion King” leapt into the Broadway record books last weekend, wrapping an estimated $4 million to become the fastest, biggest ticket-seller in New York’s legit history. On Friday, the day after the show’s opening at the New Amsterdam Theater, near-universal critical raves and massive media coverage pushed “Lion’s” daily wrap […]

  • Stagecraft podcast Julie Taymor David Henry

    Stagecraft Podcast: Julie Taymor, David Henry Hwang Talk 'M. Butterfly' and Gender in 2017

    NEW YORK — Disney’s “The Lion King” leapt into the Broadway record books last weekend, wrapping an estimated $4 million to become the fastest, biggest ticket-seller in New York’s legit history. On Friday, the day after the show’s opening at the New Amsterdam Theater, near-universal critical raves and massive media coverage pushed “Lion’s” daily wrap […]

  • Di Glazer

    ICM Names Di Glazer Co-Head of Theater Department

    NEW YORK — Disney’s “The Lion King” leapt into the Broadway record books last weekend, wrapping an estimated $4 million to become the fastest, biggest ticket-seller in New York’s legit history. On Friday, the day after the show’s opening at the New Amsterdam Theater, near-universal critical raves and massive media coverage pushed “Lion’s” daily wrap […]

  • Broadway

    Broadway Producers Accuse Casting Directors of Conspiracy in New Lawsuit

    NEW YORK — Disney’s “The Lion King” leapt into the Broadway record books last weekend, wrapping an estimated $4 million to become the fastest, biggest ticket-seller in New York’s legit history. On Friday, the day after the show’s opening at the New Amsterdam Theater, near-universal critical raves and massive media coverage pushed “Lion’s” daily wrap […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content