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Lion King was highest grossing Broadway show in 2013

Scene from the UK tour of The Lion King. Photo: Deen van Meer
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Long-running musical The Lion King was the most successful show on Broadway in 2013, taking almost $97 million (£58.7 million) in ticket sales in its 16th year on the Great White Way.

The achievement follows the Walt Disney-produced show, which moved to the Minskoff Theatre in 2006, breaking two single-week records at the venue last month when it took $2.4 million (£1.5 million) over the Thanksgiving holiday and bettered that in the final week of December with box office receipts of $2.8 million (£1.7 million) for nine performances.

Earlier this year, The Lion King became the first show to earn more than $1 billion (£605 million) on Broadway.

In second place and after a decade on Broadway, Wizard of Oz musical Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre (whose capacity was recently enlarged by 119 seats) created history in the last week of 2013 by becoming the first show to take more than $3 million in a single week on Broadway when its nine performances saw ticket sales of $3.2 million (£1.9 million). Since opening in 2003, it has achieved cumulative box office earnings of $797 million (£480 million). It took $95.3 million in 2013 (£58.0 million).

At the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, The Book of Mormon was the year’s third highest-grossing production, with takings of $90.4 million (£54.7 million), according to figures released by The Broadway League.

Other records set over the Christmas period included a best-ever week for a straight play on Broadway when the Barrymore Theatre’s revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall earned $1.4 million (£845,000).

Also breaking weekly house records in the same period were Kinky Boots, winner of this year’s Tony Award for best musical, which took $2.2 million (£1.3 million) at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, the revival of Pippin’s $1.2 million (£723,000) at the Music Box Theatre and the $1 million (£603,000) over eight performances for Chicago, in its 18th year on Broadway, at the Ambassador Theatre.

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