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January 4, 2012

Hippodrome breaks box office record with 'The Lion King'

The national touring production of "The Lion King" that winds up its five-week run at the Hippodrome Theatre on Sunday, has already broken a box office record.

For the week ending Jan. 1, which included nine performances, the theater grossed $1,531,590, the highest for a Broadway show there.

The final tallies for the engagement will show over $6 million in gross ticket sales and more than 62,000 people attending.

"'The Lion King' truly reigns in Baltimore, and we look forward to our next return engagement," said Jeff T. Daniel, president of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, in a statement.

The Hippodrome estimates a ...

$21 million economic benefit to Baltimore from the show's run, counting "travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff." That figure is derived from an economic impact formula used by the Touring Broadway League, a trade organization.

Baltimore isn't the only place crazy about "The Lion King." The production still running after 14 years on Broadway grossed $2,444,032 at the Minskoff Theatre last week, a house record and the highest weekly gross yet for the show.

The other current North American production, wrapping up more than two years at the Mandalay Bay Theatre in Las Vegas, also set a new house record and had the highest grossing week ($1,369,460).


Posted by Tim Smith at 6:16 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Drama Queens, Hippodrome


We went and thoroughly enjoyed it. The cast was uniformly excellent.

Lion King Ticket prices and merchandise were MUCH higher than the Hippodrome's other shows we've attended; this could account for their higher profits.

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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