"High School Musical 3" Leads Worldwide Box Office
"High School Musical 3: Senior Year," the first big-screen adaptation of Walt Disney Co's popular TV movie franchise, rocked movie theaters around the world during its first weekend of release, the company said on Sunday.
The movie sold $42 million worth of tickets across North America for the three days beginning on Friday, and grossed $40 million internationally. It was No. 1 by both counts, becoming the first worldwide chart-topper since the Batman sequel "The Dark Knight" in July, Disney said.
The "High School Musical" franchise has generated two smash TV movies, two chart-topping albums, and made teen idols out of its stars, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale.
The plot of the new film brings the cast back to their fictional New Mexico high school, where Troy (Efron) must decide between pursuing a basketball scholarship or his song-and-dance dreams. The usual teen-angst issues ensue.
Elsewhere at the North American box office, "Saw V" came in at No. 2 with $30.5 million, in line with the previous three installments in the horror franchise. The series was released by Lionsgate, a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
Last weekend's champ, the Mark Wahlberg thriller "Max Payne," slipped to No. 3 with $7.6 million, taking its 10-day haul to $29.7 million. The film was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Bill Trott)