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Hairspray Film Achieves Best Musical Opening on Record


Variety reports that the film version of the Broadway musical hit Hairspray has achieved "the best musical opening on record."

Hairspray, playing at 3,121 US locations, placed high at #3 on the weekend box office chart. Hairspray, which took in a projected $27.8 million to date on its opening weekend, ranked behind the new Adam Sandler comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (with $34.8 million from 3,495 locations) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (with $32.2 million from 4,285 locations).  Transformers and Ratatouille completed the top five list.  According to Variety, Hairspray "far outpaced predictions that it would gross somewhere around $20 million...The 1982 Best Little Whorehouse in Texas previously held the record for best opening for a musical, at $11 million. Rent, released in 2005, was next best at $10 million. Recent musicals like Chicago and Dreamgirls all opened in limited runs."

New Line Cinema's Hairspray was released on July 20th nationwide.  Directed by Adam Shankman, the film stars newcomer Nikki Blonsky as heroine Tracy Turnblad, who helps to integrate a Baltimore dance show and wins the heart of Link Larkin in the process. Hairspray's star-studded cast also features John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, Allison Janney as Prudy Pingleton, Christopher Walken as Wilbur Turnblad, Queen Latifah as Motormouth Maybelle, Michelle Pfeiffer as Velma Von Tussle, Brittany Snow as Amber Von Tussle, Zac Efron as Link Larkin, Elijah Kelley as Seaweed, and James Marsden as Corny Collins.

Hairspray is produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who previously brought Chicago to the big screen as an Oscar-winning movie musical.  The film features a screenplay by Leslie Dixon, who adapted it from Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell's original book, as well as a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who contributed new songs to their existing Tony Award-winning score.

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