Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba! (Stage direction: Julie Taymor walks out onto the stage of the Minskoff Theatre to the tune of “Circle of Life,” lifting a huge sack of money skyward.) The AP is reporting that over the weekend, The Lion King quietly passed The Phantom of the Opera to become the highest-grossing Broadway production of all time. Of all time! Mind you, we’re not talking worldwide grosses — there, Phantom still has Lion King beat, $5.6 billion to $4.8 billion — but Lion King’s Phantom-toppling Broadway haul of $853.8 million is all the more impressive when you consider that it’s nearly ten years younger than its masked rival. It’s good to be the King.
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Actor Taran Killam attends the 2011 American Museum of Natural History gala at the American Museum of Natural History on November 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage) Photo: Joan Marcus