The Minskoff Theatre and the marquee for "The Lion King"...

The Minskoff Theatre and the marquee for "The Lion King" are seen in New York. (Jan. 19, 2012) Credit: AP

Very quietly, almost stealthily, a new king has been inaugurated on Broadway.

Revenue figures indicate that "The Lion King" has swiped the title of Broadway's all-time highest grossing show from "The Phantom of the Opera."

As of Monday, the cumulative gross for "The Lion King" was $853,846,062. Its chandelier-swinging musical's cumulative total was $853,122,847.

What makes the achievement all the more remarkable is that "The Lion King" grabbed the title despite "Phantom" having almost a full 10 years' head start.

The upstart's victory is due in large part to its higher average ticket prices and a slightly larger theater.

To be sure, "Phantom," now in its 24th year, is still the longest-running show in Broadway history. But the Broadway box office crown has been passed to a new pup.

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