‘Lion King’ Musical Hits $1 Billion in North American Touring

Road grosses are just one revenue stream for the international stage property

For Broadway’s really big hits, the mega-bucks don’t come from a show’s outpost on the Main Stem – they come from all the title’s incarnations around the world. Proving the point: The juggernaut musical adaptation of “The Lion King” has hit $1 billion in grosses from the show’s North American touring companies alone, according to Disney Theatrical Prods.

The 15-year-old Broadway production, where box office is stronger than it’s ever been, hasn’t yet hit $1 billion, although it’s close. As of the week ending July 7, the Gotham staging had pulled in $972 million.

Take the coin from the North American tour, add in the money earned by the show’s concurrent international incarnations — the tenth of which opens later this year in Australia — plus the revenue from its prior stagings around the world, and the boffo tally confirms the adage that in the theater you can’t make a living, but you can sure make a killing. For further examples, see “Wicked” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The national tour of “The Lion King” launched in Denver, Colo., in 2002 — relatively late, for a show that bowed on the Rialto in 1997. A second North American road production ran from 2003-2008. According to Disney, more than 15 million have seen “Lion King” in one of its touring outings.

There are a number of factors keeping “Lion King” among the royalty of top legit earners, not least of which is its source material, the 1994 animated pic that has become a standard for kiddie auds. The film’s 2011 3D theatrical release, for instance, seems certain to have given a boost to interest in the legit adaptation on the road and elsewhere.

More Legit

  • What's Next for 'Natasha, Pierre and

    What's Next for 'Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812'

    For Broadway’s really big hits, the mega-bucks don’t come from a show’s outpost on the Main Stem – they come from all the title’s incarnations around the world. Proving the point: The juggernaut musical adaptation of “The Lion King” has hit $1 billion in grosses from the show’s North American touring companies alone, according to […]

  • Berlinale --2018-- Special Touch, Paul Thiltges

    Special Touch Studios, Paul Thiltges Set 'Allah Is Not Obliged'

    For Broadway’s really big hits, the mega-bucks don’t come from a show’s outpost on the Main Stem – they come from all the title’s incarnations around the world. Proving the point: The juggernaut musical adaptation of “The Lion King” has hit $1 billion in grosses from the show’s North American touring companies alone, according to […]

  • Chess review

    D.C. Theater Review: 'Chess'

    For Broadway’s really big hits, the mega-bucks don’t come from a show’s outpost on the Main Stem – they come from all the title’s incarnations around the world. Proving the point: The juggernaut musical adaptation of “The Lion King” has hit $1 billion in grosses from the show’s North American touring companies alone, according to […]

  • Boys and Girls review Carey Mulligan

    London Theater Review: 'Girls & Boys' With Carey Mulligan

    For Broadway’s really big hits, the mega-bucks don’t come from a show’s outpost on the Main Stem – they come from all the title’s incarnations around the world. Proving the point: The juggernaut musical adaptation of “The Lion King” has hit $1 billion in grosses from the show’s North American touring companies alone, according to […]

  • Jeff Daniels

    Jeff Daniels to Star in Aaron Sorkin's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' on Broadway

    For Broadway’s really big hits, the mega-bucks don’t come from a show’s outpost on the Main Stem – they come from all the title’s incarnations around the world. Proving the point: The juggernaut musical adaptation of “The Lion King” has hit $1 billion in grosses from the show’s North American touring companies alone, according to […]

  • Kelli O'Hara

    Tony Winner Kelli O'Hara Signs With ICM

    For Broadway’s really big hits, the mega-bucks don’t come from a show’s outpost on the Main Stem – they come from all the title’s incarnations around the world. Proving the point: The juggernaut musical adaptation of “The Lion King” has hit $1 billion in grosses from the show’s North American touring companies alone, according to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content