It's not cheap to produce a Broadway musical. One of the most talked about new musicals, "Spider Man, Turn off the Dark," cost $75 million to stage, according to the New York Times. While that is one of the most expensive shows ever staged, a price tag of $10 to $15 million is normal for feature musicals. Broadway producers report that many musicals struggle to break even on an annual basis.
The Lion King
In April of 2012, "The Lion King" surpassed "Phantom of the Opera" as the highest-grossing musical on Broadway. As Broadway's sixth longest-running musical, "The Lion King" has brought in more than $853 million. The musical is based on the popular Disney film of the same title. The film brought in more $945 million worldwide.
The Phantom of the Opera
With it's 25th anniversary season coming up in 2013, "The Phantom of the Opera" is the longest-running musical on Broadway. In it's first year, it won a record seven Tony awards and was performed nearly 10,000 times. It has grossed more than $850 million.
Wicked centers around the Wicked Witch of the West from "The Wizard of Oz" and is based on the novel called "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked." It opened on Broadway in 2003 and has grossed about $477 million.
"Mamma Mia!" tells the story of a soon-to-be bride in search of her real father. It uses the music of the 70s Swedish group ABBA and is still running on Broadway. It has grossed more than $441 million.
Beauty And The Beast
Disney movies have been adapted into Broadway plays numerous times, but "Beauty and Beast" was the first. Based on the 1991 Disney film, this musical ran on Broadway from 1994 to 2007 and grossed roughly $429 million.
Just like movies, some Broadway musicals beat the odds and become iconic. Even those largely unfamiliar with Broadway know of these five top-grossing Broadway musicals of all time.