Broadway Musicals That Have Sung Their Way to the Big Screen
3:36 PM PDT 6/14/2012 by Jessica Fitzgerald, Chris Godley
Adam Shankman's "Rock of Ages" is the latest Broadway-to-film adaptation to hit theaters and is hoping to mine the same success of previous summer box office hits "Mamma Mia!" and Shankman's "Hairspray."
Adam Shankman's all-star film adaptation of the hit broadway musical stars Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston and Mary J. Blige. The New Line and Warner Bros pic opens in theaters June 15th.
Released: July 18, 2008
Universal's movie adaptation of the ABBA musical took the global box office by storm, grossing a massive $465.7 million overseas — thanks to its international cast of Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Amanda Seyfried — and $144.1 million domestically. It remains the top-grossing musical film of all time.
Released: July 20, 2007
Released in summer, Hairspray broke the record for biggest opening weekend for a movie musical on its way to grossing $202.5 million globally. The film adaptation of the Broadway musical (which in turn was based on John Waters' movie) starred Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michele Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow and Zac Efron.
Released: December 16, 2005
The Producers – headlining Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell — was a box office disappointment for the musical genre despite its all-star cast, topping out at $38.1 million globally.
Released: December 15, 2006
Dreamgirls — David Geffen's longtime passion project -- headlines Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. The film grossed nearly $155 million worldwide, but was considered an under performer in relation to the hype surrounding it.
Released: November 23, 2005
Rent takes place in New York City from 1989 to 1990, and follows the lives of several nonconformists as they struggle with sexuality, drugs and AIDs. But the highly anticipated film adaptation, directed by Chris Columbus, was a box office disappointment, grossing $31.7 million worldwide.
'The Phantom of the Opera'
Released: December 22, 2004
The film was adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux. The movie failed to reach the heights of Chicago, earning $154.6 million worldwide and did far more business overseas, where it grossed north of $103 million.
Released: December 27, 2002
Chicago won six Academy Awards in 2003 -- including for best picture -- and was a worldwide sensation, grossing $306.8 million globally. The film, starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, bucked the notion that musicals don't travel well overseas, where it earned $136.1 million.
'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'
Released: July 20, 2001
Hedwig and the Angry Inch —adapted by, directed and starring John Cameron Mitchell — was an indie sensation on the festival circuit but fell flat in its box office performance, grossing $3.6 million worldwide. However, it still developed a cult following.
Released: December 25, 1996
Evita — headlining Madonna -- is based on the life of Eva Perón and grossed a strong $141 million worldwide, including a stellar $91 million internationally, where American musicals historically didn't perform well. Madonna personally lobbied the president of Argentina for permission to shoot part of the film there.
Released: May 21, 1982
Annie, originally based on the 1924 Little Orphan Annie comic strip by Harold Gray, starred Aileen Quinn and grossed $57.1 million.
Released: March 14, 1979
Hair, released in 1979 and directed by Milos Forman, is about a Vietnam War draftee introduced to eccentric relationships and drugs when meeting up with a group of hippies. The movie, nominated for several Golden Globes, grossed a so-so $15.3 million.
'Jesus Christ Superstar'
Released: August 15, 1973
While the film sparked criticism from religious groups, reviews for Jesus Christ Superstar were positive and the movie grossed $24.5 million.
Released: March 21, 1973
Based on the off-Broadway musical, the film starred Victor Garber and David Haskall and came out only five months before the similiarly themed Jesus Christ Superstar was released in theaters. A revival of the stage musical is currently running Broadway, although it is closing at the end of the month due to lack of ticket sales.
'Fiddler on the Roof'
Released: November 3, 1971
Fiddler on the Roof, set in Tsarist Russia in 1905 is in English and Hebrew and starred Chaim Topol, Norma Crane and Leonard Frey.
Released: October 25, 1967
Richard Harris, who played King Arthur opposite Vanessa Redgrave, won the Golden Globe for best actor for his portrayal of King Arthur. The movie was a box office success, grossing $31.1 million.
'My Fair Lady'
Released: October 21, 1964
Directed by George Cukor, My Fair Lady was an instant hit, grossing $72 million and winning a slew of Oscars, including best picture and best director. Rex Harrison, who starred opposite Audrey Hepburn, also picked up the Academy Award for best actor.
'The Sound of Music'
Released: March 2, 1965
New generations continue to watch this film, adapted from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical. Starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music grossed a staggering $158.7 million and, at the time, displaced Gone With the Wind as the most successful film in history. It also won the Oscar for best picture.
'The Music Man'
Released: June 19, 1962
Starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones, the highly acclaimed film adaptation of Meredith Wilson’s Broadway musical grossed nearly $15 million. The film – cited for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"-- was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2005.
'West Side Story'
Released: October 18, 1961
The movie adaptation of the Broadway musical — which in turn was based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, won 10 Academy Awards, including best picture. It also earned a blockbuster $43.7 million at the box office.
'The King And I'
Released: June 29, 1956
The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won five, one of which was awarded to Yul Brynner for best actor. Brynner starred opposite Deborah Kerr.
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