- High School Musical 3: Senior Year box office: The modestly budgeted Vanessa Hudgens & Zac Efron Disney musical is a bona fide sleeper hit in both the domestic market and abroad.
- In other box office news, Kevin Smith’s R-rated sex/romantic comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno bombs while the Clint Eastwood-Angelina Jolie collaboration Changeling fails to catch on after adding more theaters.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year box office: Vanessa Hudgens & Zac Efron Disney musical is a fall sleeper hit
Oct. 31–Nov. 2 weekend box office: When a Halloween/Day of the Dead weekend comes along, what better way to celebrate creeps and ghouls than by watching a Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron Disney musical?
In point of fact, that’s what a number of Americans and Canadians decided to do this past weekend, as Walt Disney Pictures’ Kenny Ortega-directed High School Musical 3: Senior Year remained in the no. 1 spot at the domestic box office, grossing $15.3 million from 3,626 theaters as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
Admittedly, the third installment – first on the big screen – in the popular High School Musical series was down a whopping 63 percent from its debut weekend, when it topped the chart with an impressive $42 million. Even so, High School Musical 3: Senior Year has already taken in $62 million in the U.S. and Canada.
How teeny the teen musical’s budget?
That figure is not bad at all for a production that reportedly cost a measly $11–$13 million. (Note: At least one report has pegged the High School Musical 3: Senior Year budget at $30 million.)
Now, what’s unclear is how much dough Disney has spent marketing (and distributing) the movie. Chances are it wasn’t only (the rule-of-thumb) 50 percent or whereabouts of the production budget.
Anyhow, forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, Rita Hayworth and whoever else. Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are the real singing-and-dancing deal in this early 21st century of ours.
Besides Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron, the High School Musical 3: Senior Year cast includes Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, and Bart Johnson.
Update: High School Musical 3: Senior Year ultimately collected $90.6 million domestically and $162.3 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $252.9 million – thus making the Zac Efron-Vanessa Hudgens sing-song pairing one of the year’s biggest sleeper hits on a global scale.
Its top five international markets were all located in Europe’s western half: The United Kingdom/Ireland ($33.9 million), Germany ($17.9 million), France ($15.8 million), Italy ($12.7 million), and Spain ($12.7 million).
Zack and Miri Make a Porno flops while Clint Eastwood-Angelina Jolie collaboration fails to catch on
Debuting at no. 2 this past Halloween weekend, Kevin Smith’s R-rated (initially NC-17-rated) sex/romantic comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno brought in a meager $10 million from 2,735 sites.
The The Weinstein Company release stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as two lifelong friends whose solution for some lifelong debt is to make a sexually explicit movie. Also in the cast: Justin Long, Brandon Routh, and former adult film superstar Traci Lords. Budget: $24 million.
After expanding to 1,850 venues on its second weekend out, Clint Eastwood’s Universal-distributed Changeling, starring potential Academy Award contender Angelina Jolie, jumped to fourth place (Saw V was no. 3 with $9.7 million). The real-life-inspired, adult-oriented drama took in $9.4 million for a just okay $5,054 per-theater average. Total to date: 10 million. Budget: $55 million.
Also in the Changeling cast: Michael Kelly, Jeffrey Donovan, Colm Feore, and Oscar nominees John Malkovich (Places in the Heart, 1984; In the Line of Fire, 1993) and Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, 2007).
Box office money-losers
Update: Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno ultimately made a paltry $31.5 million domestically and a dismal $11.3 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $42.8 million. Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($3.7 million) and Australia ($1.3 million).
The Clint Eastwood-Angelina Jolie drama Changeling ultimately collected $35.7 million domestically and $77.7 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $113.4 million. Its top international markets were Japan ($12.9 million), Spain ($11.7 million), and France ($10.1 million).
Both Zack and Miri Make a Porno and the pricier Changeling failed to recover their overall cost at the box office.
“High School Musical 3 Box Office: Zac Efron Blockbuster” notes
Unless otherwise noted, “High School Musical 3 Box Office: Zac Efron Blockbuster” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Changeling, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron High School Musical 3: Senior Year movie images: Walt Disney Pictures.
Angelina Jolie Changeling movie image: Universal Pictures.
“High School Musical 3 Box Office: Zac Efron Blockbuster last updated in October 2023.