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It's not cheap to produce a Broadway musical. 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. However, 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.

The Lion King

In April of 2012, "The Lion King" surpassed "Phantom of the Opera" as the highest-grossing musical on Broadway. Starting in November of 1997,  "The Lion King" is Broadway's third longest-running show, and has brought in more than $1.37billion. The musical is based on the popular Disney film of the same title.


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 $1.11billion and counting. 

The Phantom of the Opera 

With it's 25th anniversary season coming up in 2013, "The Phantom of the Opera" is the longest-running show on Broadway. In it's first year, it won a record seven Tony awards. It has grossed more than $1.1 billion . 

Mamma Mia!

"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 ran until September of 2015. In total, the show grossed $624.4 million. 

Chicago (Revival) 

One of the longest running shows on Broadway, Chicago is the 5th highest grossing Broadway musicals. Since its revival in 1996, this classic has grossed upwards of $586 million. 




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