"High School Musical" repeats atop box office

Mon Nov 3, 2008 7:17am EST
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" led the North American box office for a second weekend, while the comedy "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" opened at No. 2, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.

Overall sales were hampered by Halloween distractions on Friday. "High School Musical 3," for example, ranked at No. 5 that day, but it rebounded strongly on Saturday, and Sunday business was expected to remain brisk. In all, Walt Disney Co's teen-oriented musical earned about $15 million for the three-day period, taking its 10-day haul to $61.75 million.

Additionally, the latest installment in the song-and-dance franchise earned $26 million from No. 1 holds in each of its 26 international markets, Disney said; its foreign total rose to $85 million.

There will "very likely" be a sequel, but the format and cast have not been decided yet, said Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group.

"High School Musical 3," and its pair of preceding TV movies, made teen idols out of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale. The films were directed by "Dirty Dancing" choreographer Kenny Ortega.


"Zack and Miri Make a Porno" followed with $10.7 million, said closely held distributor Weinstein Co. Other studios, however, said that estimate was at least $1 million too high.

"There's no question that we're being a little bit aggressive," said Weinstein Co. distribution chairman Steve Bunnell, referring to the studio's estimate of Sunday sales. Final data will be issued on Monday.   Continued...

<p>Cast members of the "High School Musical" movies, (from L-R) Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron, present an award at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles September 7, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>