The Wildcats have sung their way to the top slot of the North American box office as Walt Disney Pictures drama musical, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year", debuted #1 at the chart on the last weekend of October. Continuing the romantic journey of the now-high school senior lovers, Troy and Gabriella, the first of the three "High School Musical" installments brought to the big screen has beaten out its strongest competitor "Saw V" and pushed aside last week champion "Max Payne".
Apart from nailing the top position, the Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens-starring musical has also set a new box office record for the best-ever debut for a musical film. Collecting an impressive $42 million from the 3,623 theaters it is screened, the movie supported by Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel and Monique Coleman has surpassed the $27.8 million opening bow of ABBA-inspired musical "Mamma Mia!", which was released on July 18.
On its overseas sales, "Senior Year" has been reported to have raked in $40 million in 19 other countries where it has opened, which include Britain, Germany and Spain. Additionally, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group Mark Zoradi commented on the film's success saying simply, "Music travels. Sometimes American comedy is difficult to travel, but this is a relatively simple story and a good quality, fun movie."
Outnumbered by "Senior Year" was horror thriller "Saw V" with $30.1 million. Though its earning is in line with the past three "Saw" movies, this fifth film about serial killer seeking to make people appreciated their life has become the first from the series that failed to secure the #1 slot since the original "Saw" opened third back in 2004.
Other than "Saw V", "Max Payne" has also been pushed down from its throne. Slipping to the third place, the video game adaptation saw a 56.9% decrease in sales, making it to add $7.6 million to the total of nearly $29.9 million. Moreover, rounding up the top five were two-time box office champ "Beverly Hills Chihuahua", and newcomer "Pride and Glory". "Chihuahua" came out fourth with $6.9 million, while "Pride" followed in fifth, earning $6.3 million.
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for October 24-26, 2008: