Old musical proves it can still roar on Broadway

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NEW YORK (AP) - Last week’s biggest earning show on Broadway wasn’t the usual suspects _ “Wicked” or “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.” It was an old show that proves it can still roar.

“The Lion King,” now in its 14th year, took in $1,534,779 for the week ending Sunday. “Wicked,” the show about the witches in “The Wizard of Oz,” was next with $1,526,036, and the much-delayed “Spider-Man” musical took third place with $1,476,828 in eight preview performances.

“Wicked” and “Spider-Man” both reported increases over the previous week’s box office, but “The Lion King” took in $252,228 more than the week before.

Disney attributed some of the increase to a savvy scheduling change: It decided to perform “The Lion King” on Valentine’s Day, which this year fell on a Monday, traditionally a day when shows are shuttered.

The other big winner last week was Julie Taymor, who directed both “The Lion King” and the stunt-heavy, $65 million “Spider-Man.” She may have taken her lumps after poor critical reviews of her “Spider-Man” before it even opens March 15, but she’s proven to have a hand in two of the top three draws on Broadway.

“The Lion King,” with music by Elton John and Tim Rice, became the seventh-longest running show in Broadway history on Jan. 2 when it played its 5,462nd performance. Producers say 17 productions of the show have been seen by more than 54 million people and grossed more than $4.2 billion to date.

Other shows that scored well on Broadway last week were the Al Pacino-led “The Merchant of Venice,” which ended its run, as well as “The Addams Family” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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