Musicals are more than just performances of actors/actresses prancing across the stage; they are also good-feeling shows that leave audiences in awe of it’s artistry. Since the golden era of Hollywood, viewers are blessed every so often with a snappy or dramatic musical that can have you dancing in the aisles along with the performers. From Grease to The Sound of Music, everyone has one musical they can look back on with fondness and say “that’s my favorite!”
Some musicals were met with critical acclaim and others were sent back into the theaters because of their popularity. Which musical film grossed the most in the box-office? Here are the highest-grossing musical-films of all time.
10 Across The Universe - Box Office: $24,602,291
Who would've thought to combine songs from the iconic English-band, The Beatles, and some of Hollywood's elite to create a movie? Clearly, the idea was a success and the film, Across the Universe, came into existence and debut 2007. Using the songs from one of the world's most legendary boy band, Across the Universe follows the story of Jude and Lucy, star-crossed levels who find themselves engrossed in growing political climate.
The movie features the hit songs; "Hey Jude", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", and "Helter Skelter". The musical that stars, Evan Rachel Wood, and Jim Sturgess, grossed $24,604,21 in the box-office.
9 Rent - Box Office: $29,077,547
"How we gonna pay? How we gonna pay, last year's rent?"
The Bohemian-crazed musical that depicted the lives of six New Yorkers, is based on the 1996 Broadway-musical of the same name, and the opera, La Boheme, by Giacomo Puccini. Rent was released in 2005 and directed by Chris Columbus and featured, Rosario Dawson, Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp, and Taye Diggs. Rent is noted for using some of the original Broadway members in the film, (Diggs, Menzel, and Rapp, and also shedding light on the struggles of members of the LGBTQ-community and the impact of AIDS.
The film received mixed reviews but became a cult-classic and grossed $29,077,547 in the box-office.
8 Little Shop of Horrors - Box Office: $38,982,260
The 1986 rock-musical film brought a "mean, green mother from outer space", to the big screen and fans of the movie couldn't be more thankful. Little Shop of Horrors featured some big-screen legends, a rocking trio of soulful singers, and a funny story-line that is still a fan-favorite.
Rick Moranis portrays Seymour, a down-on-his-luck nerdy florist, that comes across a peculiar plant and uses it to save the failing flower shop his lives and works at. Steve Martin, Ellen Greene, and Vincent Gardenia round out a star-studded main cast while Tisha Campbell-Martin, Tichina Arnold, and John Candy help make this movie what it is with unforgettable performances. As of 2019 Little Shop of Horrors has grossed $38,982,260.
7 The Phantom of the Opera - Box Office: $51,268,815
Based on the 1986 Broadway-musical and French Novel, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, the 2004 film, The Phantom of the Opera, isn't as magical as it's Broadway counterpart; but it lives up to its own potential. Emmy Rossum stars as the beautiful and gifted, Christine Daae, who has won the favor of the mysterious "opera ghost" at the theater. The ghost in turns is a man, known as "The Phantom", played by Gerard Butler, who is in love with Christine and vies for her affection. His competitor is Christine's childhood friend, Raoul de Chagny, portrayed by Patrick Wilson, who wants to take Christine far away from The Phantom.
The movie offers romance, passionate performances, and a closer look at The Phantom. It grossed $51,268,815 at the box-office.
6 Annie - Box Office: $57,059,003
There isn't a person alive who can't recognize the warm ballad, "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow", from the musical-film, Annie. The 1982 film, starring Aileen Quinn as the title character, follows the story of the red-head orphan that faced her obstacles with a smile and song, but her luck turns around after she is taken in by a billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, portrayed by the late, Albert Finney. Carol Burnett gives an unforgettable performance as the complicated, Ms. Hannigan, and Ann Reinking shines as Warbucks' loyal assistant, Grace Ferrell.
The success of the movie led to several adaptations, including a made-for-tv sequel and a comic book. Annie grossed $57,059,003 in the box-office.
5 Hairspray - Box Office: $118,871,849
Tracy Turnblad had the world moving with her sassy attitude and dancing feet that she just could keep still. The musical-romantic comedy follows the story of the"pleasantly plumb" teen that longs to be on the popular dance show, The Corny Collins Show, but also partakes in the rallies against racial segregation. Hairspray features an-all star ensemble: including; Amanda Bynes, Zac Efron, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, and Christopher Walken.
Nikki Blonsky portrays Tracy in her feature-film debut. The movie was a box-office success and this led it to becoming the tenth highest-grossing musical film in the United States. Hairspray grossed $118,871,849 in the box-office.
4 Mamma Mia! - Box Office: $144,169,644
Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried take on the roles of mother-daughter duo, Donna and Sophie Sheridan, respectively, in the musical based on 1999 Broadway-musical of the same name and song from the pop-group, ABBA. Mamma Mia! is another dazzler of a film that tells the sweet story of Sophie's quest to find her real father, while also contemplating her impending nuptials. Streep is no match as the vivacious and unapologetic Donna, and Seyfried's innocent nature is hard not to love, as she pulls on everyone's heartstrings as the caring Sophie.
The movie also stars Colin Ferrell, Stellan Skarsgard, and Pierce Brosnan, each of whom portray the men that could be Sophie's father. This wild and lovable tale grossed $144,169,644 at the box-office and one of the highest-grossing musicals of all time.
3 La La Land - Box Office: $151,101,803
Two young adults find love and music in this romantic-comedy musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. La La Land brings these two dynamic performers together for a beautiful love story and eye-grasping cinematography. The movie was a hit and received various accolades, including 14 nominations at the Academy Awards, and two big wins; Best Director and Best Actress for Stone.
John Legend, Tom Everett Scott, J.K. Simmons and Rosemarie DeWitt complete the gleaming movie that grossed $$151,101803 at the box-office, landing a spot on the list of highest-grossing musical films of all time.
2 Chicago - Box Office: $170,687,518
Scandal. Corruption. Celebrity-drama. Just another ordinary day in the musical-film, Chicago. The 2002 film that was based on the play of the stage musical of the same name and the 1927 play by Maurine Dallas, brings together three Hollywood giants that duke it out for fame and "all that jazz". Renee Zellweger plays the not-so-innocent housewife, Roxie Hart, who lands in the same jail block as a famed vaudevillian, Velmy Kelly; both of whom are accused of murdering people.
Enter Richard Gere as the manipulative, Billy Flynn, a lawyer trying to profit off of his client's cases. Queen Latifah portrays Mama Morton, the matron of jail but will be "good to you" if your good to her. Add in John C. Reily, Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, and Christine Baranski and you have an Academy-award winning film that grossed $170,687,518 at the box-office.
1 Grease - Box Office: $189,969,103
Though many have come before this film, Grease is considered to be a cultural phenomenon, that has changed the game for musical-films that will come behind it. John Travolta stars at the leader of the greaser pack, Danny Zuko, who falls in love with newcomer, Sandy Olsson, portrayed by Olivia Newton-John. Due to the two social status' at the fictional Rydell High, the pair have a hard time expressing their love but overcome it and at the end decide they want each other, no matter what.
Considered to be the best film of 1978, Grease, was also ranked on the of the best high school movies and the soundtrack album went on to be the second-best album of the year in the United States. Grease has spawned a sequel, several remakes, and grossed $189,969,103 at the box-office.