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‘Lion King’ tops week, passes mark

Musical becomes fifth-longest-running show on Broadway

“The Lion King” ruled the B.O. jungle in Week 11 (Aug. 6-12), even as the production was positioned to claim the title of fifth longest-running show in Main Stem history.

“Lion King” pulled in a whopping $2,219,736, with a bump of some $200,000 attributable to a ninth weekly performance. The 15-year-old show is already the highest-grossing Rialto show ever, with a Gotham cume that stood at $887.7 million. On Aug. 15, it surpassed the 6,137 performances of “A Chorus Line” on the list of Broadway long-runners.

“Wicked” ($2,147,461) also played an additional ninth perf and gained $133,902. It’s the second time this summer both shows have skedded an extra performance to take advantage of heightened tourist demand. The add-a-show tactic has been common over the Thanksgiving and Christmas frames, but this is the first year it’s becoming commonplace in summer.

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The second and final week of “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” ($580,122 for six perfs) wasn’t quite as strong as its first. But even though fewer people saw the show, they were still willing to pay an average of $145 per ticket.

Overall, Rialto sales dropped to $21.8 million for the 25 shows on the boards. Attendance slid by about 20,000 to 218,168, or 83% of capacity.

The 18 musicals grossed $18,383,093 for 84.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 179,490 and an average paid admission of $102.42.

The seven plays grossed $3,451,057 for 15.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 38,678 and an average paid admission of $89.23.