By Fred Topel | Image property of Walt Disney Pictures, Variety
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Both Disney and Lionsgate have to be excited after seeing the box office estimates arrive for the weekend. Proving that the teenie-bopper sect is as strong as ever, High School Musical 3: Senior Year took the top spot at the box office over the weekend with $42 million while Saw V took advantage of the horror sec to post a whopping $30.5 million.
Box Office Champ: High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Thanks to the numbers provided by HSM 3 and Saw V, the weekend box office was up a whopping 30% over the same frame last year. Note to self: releasing both a popular G-rated film and a huge R-rated franchise is the way to go when looking for some extra coin.
The rest of the competition couldn't even compete. Max Payne plummeted 57% -- which is actually smaller than we predicted considering the poor word of mouth -- to earn $7.6 million during its second weekend while Lionsgate's W. already saw loss of political interest with a drop of 49%. The mockumentary earned $5.3 million during its sophomore bow.
But never mind them, as this weekend goes entirely to High School Musical 3 and Saw V. The third installment in the HSM franchise performed so well that it achieved the record of biggest opening for a musical, taking the title from Mamma Mia!.
Not to be outdone, Saw V has put the Saw franchise within $2 million of Friday the 13th for the title of top-grossing horror series.
“You’d never know we were supposed to be in a recession when you see two openings like this,” said Lionsgate distrib chief Steve Rothenberg. “When Hollywood offers up a choice, the audience can really expand.”
The only franchise to suffer over the weekend was Warner Bros' Pride and Glory, which further proves that the cop genre needs to be put back to bed for the time being.