High School Musical 3: Senior Year movie review: With graduation looming, Troy (Zac Bangs Efron) wonders if he'll go to college for basketball or theater; Gabriella (Vanessa Scandal-Immune Hudgens) anticipates heading to Stanford and being away from Troy; and Sharpay (Ashley Legs Tisdale) schemes to score a Juilliard Scholarship. Meanwhile, Chad (Corbin Bleu), Taylor (Monique Coleman), Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) and the rest of the gang prep for prom and put on a musical about their impending life changes.
The buzz: Complaining that HSM is corny is like Santa Claus bitching about long hours (it comes with the territory). While the original TV movie's relaxed charm subsided a bit in its flashier sequel, Disney's juggernaut now yields a third installment that, hopefully, has been amped up for its jump to the big screen—not just plopped there to tack extra zeroes onto the never-ending pile of dough.
The verdict: Yes, half the lyrics would be at home on a Backstreet Boys record, and Hudgens looks embarrassed when Gabriella's Troy-inspired swooning reaches new heights of cheeseballitude. But the series has grown up, relatively speaking, at last providing melodies that split the difference between stage tunes and pop radio and dance sequences that mix old-fashioned grace with modern pizzazz. (Efron's star shines the entire way.) It's also hard to rag on a family flick that so innocently, proficiently promotes both unity and independence—albeit in an alternate reality in which angst is minimal, teens want only to gaze into each other's eyes and have never heard of Jamie Lynn Spears. What matters: The previously amateur, sometimes annoying franchise has grown into fluffy but polished entertainment, while laying a welcome mat for skeptics to return to Disney's kind of world. Source: Metromix
Box Office: The film opened $16 million on Friday for the biggest opening day for a musical film of all-time, which made at #1 (beating out Saw V in box office earnings) with an opening weekend of over $42,030,184 in the United States and breaking the record, previously held by Mamma Mia!, for the biggest opening ever for a movie musical. The film also opened at #1 overseas, with an international opening of $40,000,000. High School Musical 3: Senior Year made $90,559,416 in domestic and $162,349,761 in other territories leading up for a total of $252,909,177 worldwide, which was above even Disney's expectations