"Les Miserables" and "Mamma Mia!" Are Top Earners: A Comparison of Box-Office Figures for Recent Movie Musicals

By Andrew Gans
14 Mar 2013

The award-winning movie musical "Les Miserables," which co-stars Hugh Jackman and Oscar winner Anne Hathaway, has taken in $148,209,150 domestically and $274,800,000 overseas for a current worldwide total of $423,009,150, making it one of the most successful film musicals in recent years. Playbill.com offers a chronological look back at how movie musicals have fared in the past decade or so.



Figures cited are from boxofficeMojo.com.

One of the big winners at the box office was Miramax's Chicago, which was released in December 2002 and grossed $306,776,732 worldwide ($170,687,518 domestically plus $136,089,214 in foreign markets). Rob Marshall directed Bill Condon's screenplay, and the cast featured Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah and John C. Reilly.

Joel Schumacher's "The Phantom of the Opera," the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's international hit, featured Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson. The December 2004 movie musical, distributed by Warner Bros., grossed $154,648,887 worldwide ($51,268,815 domestically and $103,380,072 in foreign markets).

The Sony (Revolution) film of Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent, which was released in November 2005 featuring many of the original Broadway players, took in $29,077,547 domestically and $2,593,073 overseas for a worldwide total of $31,670,620.

The December 2005 film version of Mel Brooks' multiple Tony-winning musical The Producers, featuring original stage stars Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, had a worldwide gross of only $38,058,335 ($19,398,532 domestically plus $18,659,803 overseas).

Bill Condon's "Dreamgirls," which was released in December 2006 starring Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson, took in $103,365,956 domestically plus $51,571,724 overseas for a worldwide gross of $154,937,680.

The Adam Shankman-directed New Line film version of the Tony-winning musical Hairspray, which hit movie theatres in July 2007, also fared well, bringing in $202,548,575 worldwide ($118,871,849 domestically plus $83,676,726 in foreign markets).

"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," based on the Stephen Sondheim masterpiece, was released by Paramount (DreamWorks) in December 2007. Directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, the film musical earned $52,898,073 domestically and $99,625,091 overseas for a worldwide gross of $152,523,164.

Universal's Mamma Mia!, which boasted Meryl Streep among its cast, was released in July 2008 and grossed a whopping $609,841,637 worldwide, a composite of $144,130,063 domestically and $465,711,574 overseas. The film, featuring the songs of Abba, remains the box-office champ of recent movie musicals.

Despite a starry cast featuring Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones and more, the 2012 Warner Bros. (New Line) film musical "Rock of Ages" only brought in $38,518,613 domestically and $17,840,809 overseas for a total gross of $56,359,422. Adam Shankman directed.