I was a little taken aback at the beginning of the week when I read that “Mamma Mia!” had the highest grossing opening weekend ever for a movie musical. “Mamma Mia!”?!!? That didn’t quite seem plausible. Even more amazing is, when you look at its total international receipts, the movie has already made more than $110 million.
I poked around a little and pulled up this chart that showed the movie already #14 on the all-time movie musical chart and also that the #1 movie musical was “Grease.” Where was “West Side Story” or “My Fair Lady,” I wondered? Then I noticed that they hadn’t split musicals out into their own category until 1974 (on Box Office Mojo, at least.)
So I pulled up this adjusted for inflation chart and saw the old favorites I was expecting: “Sound of Music” with a total gross of nearly $1 billion, “Mary Poppins” with more than $500 million, even “Rocky Horror” within shooting distance of $400 million (“Lady” is at #52 and “West Side” is at #64, in case you’re wondering).
Phew! I can rest easy now knowing that, as popular as “Mamma Mia!” is, it’s got a long way to go before it eclipses any of the classics. Personally, I’m hoping to sneak out to see “The Dark Knight” this weekend… “Mamma Mia!” well, maybe it’ll come to the Byrd in a month or two…
PS: While we're talking movies, I came across this list of the greatest screen adaptations of Shakespeare the other day. It's a little tiresome to work through all 30 of them, but I skipped to the end and it gave me a couple of movies to think about next time I'm wandering around Blockbuster wondering what would be good to watch. You might want to check it out!