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Renita Jablonski: A lot of companies are struggling right now but the Walt Disney Company is still cashing in on the craze known as High School Musical. High School Musical Three opens in theaters today. The franchise is already huge, and now Disney’s trying to make it bigger. Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek-Smith has more.
High School Musical: Game on! This is the last time to get it right, this is the last chance to make it all night.
Stacey Vanek-Smith: As far as making money goes, High School Musical is practically in a class by itself. It began as a movie on the Disney Channel… and became a $100 million franchise, with its own concert tour, ice show, best-selling album and Wii game. Now it’s headed for theaters.
Entertainment Analyst Hal Vogel says taking High School Musical to the big screen will expand the product possibilities even more:
Hal Vogel: They have a lot of ancillary revenues. Everything from merchandising, toys and spin-offs. So the business looks at these blockbuster tent-poles, as they call them, to be very important events.
There’s just one problem: It’s senior years for lead characters Zac Efron and Venessa Hudgens. Disney is hoping to sustain the High School Musical franchise by introducing younger cast members into the film. The movie is expected to score $35 million this weekend.
In Los Angeles, I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.
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