This Musical Is the Fastest to Hit $1 Billion in Broadway Ticket Sales

March 16, 2016, 1:28 PM UTC
Willemijn Verkaik Makes Her Broadway Debut In "Wicked" On Broadway
Photograph by Charles Eshelman—Getty Images

Hit musical Wicked is still setting Broadway records after more than a decade spent humanizing one of literature’s classic villains.

The musical that presents a revisionist history of The Wizard of Oz‘s Wicked Witch became the fastest stage production to reach $1 billion in ticket sales at the Broadway box office this week, hitting that mark roughly 12-and-a-half years after its 2003 debut, according to the show’s producers.

Wicked, which is based on a 1995 book of the same name, is just the third show ever to cross the billion-dollar mark in terms of New York sales. As Variety notes, the show joins Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, which took 27 years to hit the milestone, and the stage version of Walt Disney’s (DIS) The Lion King, which pulled off the feat 16 years after debuting on Broadway in 1997.

The show’s enduring popularity—it still regularly places among Broadway’s leaders in terms of weekly sales and it set a record in 2013 by grossing more than $3 million in a single week—has helped Wicked maintain strong ticket sales in New York City and in touring productions around the world. Wicked now has more than $4 billion in worldwide sales and the show is the tenth-longest running production in Broadway history.

Adapted by writer Winnie Holzman and composer Stephen Schwartz for the stage in 2003, Wicked earned 10 Tony Award nominations the following year.

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