Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Has “The Lion King” Movie Hurt the Box Office for “The Lion King” Musical? Receipts for Broadway Bellwether Drop for 6th Week in a Row


In the jungle, the mighty jungle, there may not be room for two “Lion Kings.”

This past week, for the 6th week in a row, “The Lion King” on Broadway had a severe box office drop. This was one was pretty steep– down $358K from the prior week. It was the first time since March that “The Lion King,” a Broadway box office bellwether, fell below $2 million. The total was $1.6 million.

A drop for “The Lion King” of this magnitude usually only comes after a spike caused by holidays and vacations. Everything was going along smoothly until July 19th. That’s when Disney opened the new “Lion King” movie with “real” animals. The move and the Broadway show couldn’t be farther apart in tone, style, or presentation. But the movie’s ticket is $10 compared with the musical’s $150.

It’s all about the brand. Once “The Lion King” movie kicked in, the musical began to suffer a decline in receipts. For the week ending July 27th, the musical did $2.7 million at the box office. Since then, compared to this past week, the musical is down by $1 million a week. The movie opened on July 19th. Since then it’s made $530 million in the US alone, and $1.6 BILLION totally around the world.

All of Broadway is hurting right now. The total box office this past week was just $25 million, down by $10 million from the spring. Many shows have closed, but that’s not the issue. It’s the individual shows’ box offices that are down. “Book of Mormon,” slowly sinking, fell below its $1 million average last week for the first time since March. “Wicked,” another bellwether, is also down. Even “Hamilton” is showing signs of vulnerability. Recession? The first thing people cut is entertainment.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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