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'Lion King,' 'Wicked' top box office in 2013

on January 02, 2014 10:50 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway’s highest-grossing show in 2013 wasn’t a new strutting musical or a bawdy one or even one with a big star. The crown goes to a regal but gray-maned performer — “The Lion King,” now in its 16th year. And another veteran turned heads when “Wicked” recorded Broadway’s highest single-week gross ever.

The old-timers are going just fine, end-of-year-data from the Broadway League released Monday showed. The 10-year-old “Wicked” earned a staggering $3.2 million over nine performances for the week ending Sunday, the first time a show has ever crossed the $3 million mark in a single week. Another pro, Elton John and Tim Rice’s “The Lion King,” ruled all other shows during the entire calendar year, ending with nearly $97 million, despite the fact that there are five bigger theaters on Broadway. For good measure, the show pulled in $2.8 million over nine performances last week, a theater record.

Several other shows — including current Tony winner “Kinky Boots,” the 2011 Tony winner “The Book of Mormon,” the new acrobatic revival of “Pippin,” the sizzling “Betrayal” and the veteran “Chicago” — all finished 2013 with box office records.The win for “The Lion King” is just the latest accolade for the show. This year it became the first Broadway show to earn $1 billion, and last year it swiped the title of Broadway’s all-time highest-grossing show from “The Phantom of the Opera.”

It is the fourth-longest-running Broadway show, behind only “Chicago,” “Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”

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