‘HSM 3’ Grabs $42 Million High Note
It was no surprise to anyone that High School Musical 3: Senior Year was going to be huge, the question was only how big an opening it would have. The final installment in Disney’s mammothly successful musical series exceeded expectations, taking in an estimated $42 million over the weekend according to Box Office Mojo. The film nabbed the crown for largest opening ever for a G-rated film and was also the number one box office attraction globally.
Right behind was Saw V, taking in a whopping $30.5 million and is poised to gain the title as most successful horror franchise of all time. The movie also exceeded expectations and sixth film is already on the drawing table for next Halloween.
It wasn’t all good news as Warner Bros.’ Pride & Glory opened in a fifth place to a disappointing $6,325,000. The movie was better reviewed than the studio’s Body of Lies but this is the second disastrous opening in a row no doubt making the studio execs worry about the future.
The other new films this weekend was Anne Hathaway’s Passengers which Sony dumped into a handful of theatres with minimal marketing. The movie received tepid reviews and took in just a few hundred thousand on 125 screens. The far better received Synecdoche, New York with Philip Seymour Hoffman was also in extremely limited release taking in just $173,000.
Changeling, with Angelina Jolie, was on a scant 15 screens but the movie was well regarded and it’s per screen average of $33,467 was impressive which should be encouraging to Universal.
"Ultimately, there was something for everyone in the marketplace," Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box-office tracking firm Media by Numbers told the Los Angeles Times. "It shows that if you put the right movies in the market, people will turn out."
Rounding out the top five films was Fox’s Max Payne in third with $7.6 million and Disney’s surprise hit, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which buried another $6.9 million bones.