27 Oct 2008

Disney musical tops US box office

2:53 pm on 27 October 2008

A Disney franchise musical topped the North American box office this weekend.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year sold $US42 million worth of tickets during its first three days. The amount is almost double that made by Mamma Mia! in July which tallied $US27.8 million.

It is the first big-screen adaptation of Walt Disney Co's popular TV movie franchise.

The song-and-dance franchise has generated two smash TV movies and two chart-topping albums, and made teen idols out of its stars, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale.

The movie also opened in 19 international markets, and was No. 1 in each of them, led by Britain with $US13 million.

The three films were directed by "Dirty Dancing" choreographer Kenny Ortega.

Disney said exit polling in North America indicated three-quarters of the audience was female, and just over half were under 18. About two-thirds were families.

In fourth place was Disney's Beverly Hills Chihuahua which opened three weeks ago and has now taken $US78.1 million to date.