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NEW YORK (AP) - It's a mainstay on Broadway and now "The Lion King" has proved it's a king on the road, too.

Disney Theatrical Productions said Wednesday that the show's total touring box office gross in North America has reached $1 billion. Producers estimate that more than 15 million theatergoers in over 70 cities across North America have seen the show since 2002.

Says Jack Eldon, a vice president at Disney Theatrical Productions: "We remain overwhelmed by the enduring response to the show and are enormously thankful to our patrons- new and returning- for their continued enthusiasm and support."

It reached its milestone quickly. Three national tours of "The Phantom of the Opera" have grossed over $1.5 billion in combined box office sales but the first kicked off in 1989.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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