If 2008 has proven anything, it's that the musical is alive and well.
This past summer, Mamma Mia! was able to edge past 2007's Hairspray in order to obtain the record of the highest-grossing opening weekend for a movie musical. Now, High School Musical 3: Senior Year has shattered Mamma 's $27.8 million take by grossing an estimated $42 million this weekend.
Nearly six years ago, Chicago grossed $170.7 million before going on to win Best Picture and it trails only Grease, which boasts a domestic haul of $188.4 million, on the list of most successful musicals of all time. Mamma Mia! ranks 3rd and Hairspray ranks 4th.
HSM3 certainly has a shot at topping Grease, or at least Chicago. As we get closer to the Academy Awards ceremony, movies are aimed more and more at adult audiences which means that younger audiences may see HSM3 multiple times due to a lack of new films that appeal to them.
It's also worth noting that Zac Efron had a supporting role in Hairspray, which means that he has now been a part of two of the three best opening weekends for movie musicals. The young actor will be seen next year in 17 Again (see trailer below) and he's also attached to star in a remake of Footloose for HSM director Kenny Ortega.