BURBANK, Calif., Feb 08, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Disney's phenomenally successful "High School Musical" franchise will graduate to the big screen in 2008 with "Haunted High School Musical," an all-new musical adventure, it was announced today by Oren Aviv, president of production for the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. The original "High School Musical," an Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel Original Movie that premiered in 2006, went on to reach over 100 million unique viewers worldwide. In the U.S., the movie's soundtrack was the #1 album of the year in 2006 (certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA) and is a top-seller in international territories. Additionally, 6.5 million DVD units have been sold to date around the world. The success of the movie led to a sold-out 42-date arena concert tour featuring cast members Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, and special guest star Drew Seeley (Zac Efron was unavailable due to his movie production schedule). Additionally, Disney Theatrical has licensed the script for local school productions, and it is anticipated that 2000 schools will produce stage versions in the first year alone. "High School Musical 2," reuniting the film's original cast with director Kenny Ortega, will premiere on Disney Channel this summer.
Commenting on the announcement, Aviv said, "Given the enormous universal appeal and phenomenal popularity of the 'High School Musical' franchise, we wanted to bring that same energy, excitement and entertainment to the big screen with a unique and original idea. We're now ready to transform 'High School Musical' into a memorable theatrical musical experience with 'Haunted High School Musical."
Rich Ross, president, Disney Channel Worldwide, added, "When people think 'big screen' for a TV movie, they generally don't think this big - but no plasma TV could contain our plans for 'High School Musical 3,' thanks to the Walt Disney Studios."