NEW YORK - The stage musical of “The Lion King” has generated the highest total box office of any production in any entertainment medium, with worldwide takings of more than $6.2 billion, a spokesman for Walt Disney Co. said on Monday.
The musical, which has been running on Broadway since 1997 and has been playing around the world, has exceeded the takings of the animated film of the same name, which are almost $1 billion.
“It is the highest-grossing total in box office history,” a spokesman told Reuters. “The $6.2 billion figure is just the box office of the stage musical.”
The spokesman said the show had reached the new record during the summer.
“The Lion King,” based on the 1994 animated Disney film of the same name, follows the journey of Simba, a young lion born into animal royalty. When Simba is ousted into the wild by his evil uncle, he overcomes adversity with the help of his jungle friends to reclaim his crown as king of African wildlife.
Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical features songs by Elton John and lyrics from Tim Rice.
“It's difficult not to become emotional at this realization of the show's impact,” said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer at Disney Theatrical Productions.
The total makes “The Lion King” more valuable than any single Harry Potter film, the blockbuster “Titanic” or any of the “Star Wars” movies. By way of comparison, the highest-grossing film in history is “Avatar,” with nearly $2.8 billion worldwide, according to Disney.