The Lion King is poised to become Broadway's first $1 billion show.
When Elton and Tim Rice wrote the music for the Disney motion picture, The Lion King, in 1994, little did they know that they would also eventually become kings of Broadway.
The pair wrote additional songs to add to an adaptation of the animated film which opened on Broadway on November 13, 1997. Since that time, the show has played over 6,600 performances and, in the very near future, will become the first show in Broadway history to gross over $1 billion.
One of the keys to hitting that landmark number is that the musical has been extremely resilient in bringing in audiences over its sixteen year run. While most long-running productions see the size of their audience trail off as the run goes on, especially for mid-week shows, The Lion King has sold at least 80% of its seats at all but under one dozen of its 6,600 performances.
The original film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for Elton and Tim's Can You Feel the Love Tonight. On Broadway, the show won Best Musical; however, the composers lost the Best Original Score award to Ragtime.