With eight performances still remaining in New Orleans, Disney's THE LION KING is already celebrating a record-breaking engagement at The Mahalia Jackson Theater. By the time the five-week Louisiana premiere engagement concludes on Sunday, April 15, it will have entertained nearly 85,000 people and grossed over $6.5 million at the box office, making it the highest-grossing theatrical production in New Orleans history.
It is estimated that by the conclusion of the New Orleans engagement, THE LION KING will generate a $22 million economic benefit to the city from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff. This figure is based upon a Touring Broadway League report which states that on average, Broadway tours contribute to the local metropolitan area's economy an economic impact 3.5 times the gross ticket sales.
"Theater fans surpassed our expectations and consistently packed the house during THE LION KING's five-week engagement. It was an honor to present THE LION KING North American tour, and to provide an enthusiastic, engaged audience for every show," said David Skinner, general manager of Arts Center Enterprises, which manages the Mahalia Jackson Theater. "The support from across the Gulf Coast region is a testament to New Orleans' strength as a destination for theater and cultural arts, and paves the way for future megahit shows to tour our city."
"We are so proud to share the experience of this groundbreaking production with audiences in New Orleans, and to entertain so many first-time and regular theatergoers," said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions. "We are overwhelmed by the enduring response to the show and thank all of New Orleans for welcoming THE LION KING into your vibrant community."
The North American touring production of THE LION KING has been seen by over 13.5 million theatergoers and grossed over $875 million to date. On the eve of celebrating its 10th year on the road, THE LION KING continues to celebrate unparalleled achievements and delight new audiences throughout North America.