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Successful Films Based on Broadway Musicals

By Edited May 29, 2015 0 0

To say Jersey Boys has been a Broadway phenomenon since its November 2005 debut is almost an understatement. The  show won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2006 and the 2009 Olivier Award, while its soundtrack won a Grammy. Jersey Boys broke the August Wilson Theatre's box office record for the 30th time in January 2010, and nine months later it became the longest-running show in that theatre's history. In honor of the show's fifth anniversary on Broadway, a section of 52nd Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue was renamed "Jersey Boys Walk" on Nov. 7, 2010. More than 19 million people worldwide had seen Jersey Boys as of January 2014. It became the 13th longest-running show in Broadway history in April 2014.

Jersey Boys has obviously conquered the theatrical world, but will it enjoy the same success at the movies? We won't know until the film adaptation - directed by none other than Clint Eastwood - opens on June 20. In the meantime, let's take a look back at some of the most successful movies based on Broadway musicals. 

West Side Story

Original Broadway Run: Sept. 26, 1957 - June 27, 1959

Film's Release Year: 1961

Not only did West Side Story win 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, it was the year's second most popular film, behind only 101 Dalmatians. The American Film Institute (AFI) ranked West Side Story 41st on its list of the greatest movies of all time in 1998 (the movie was ranked 51st on the updated list in 2007). The movie also ranked second on the AFI's list of the 25 best American movie musicals in 2006.

My Fair Lady

Original Broadway Run: March 15, 1956 - Sept. 29, 1962

Film's Release Year: 1964

My Fair Lady is one of only four works to win both the Best Play Tony and Best Picture Oscar. The movie won a total of eight Oscars, including Best Director and Best Actor. With a $17 million budget, it was at that time the most expensive film in Warner Bros.' history but proved to be one the year's most popular movies.

The Sound of Music

Original Broadway Run: Nov. 16, 1959 - June 15, 1963

Film's Release Year: 1965

The Sound of Music is another one of the four works to win the Best Play Tony and the Best Picture Oscar. The movie won four additional Oscars, including Best Director for Robert Wise (who had shared that award for West Side Story). The movie grossed $158.6 million - more than 19 times its budget - and rescued 20th Century Fox from the financial devastation it suffered due to the 1963 fiasco Cleopatra. Adjusted for inflation, The Sound of Music is the third-highest grossing film of all times. The Sound of Music stayed on the charts for almost five years in its initial video release. The AFI ranked The Sound of Music 40th on its 2007 list of the best movies of all time. 

Oliver!

Original Broadway Run: Jan. 6, 1963 - Nov. 14, 1964

Film's Release Year: 1968

This G-rated film won six Oscars, including Best Picture and an honorary award for Onna White's choreography. Carol Reed became the last Best Director winner for a family film until 2013.

Cabaret

Original Broadway Run: Nov. 20, 1966 - Sept. 6, 1969

Film's Release Year: 1972

Cabaret won eight Oscars, the most of any film that failed to win Best Picture. Liza Minnelli's Best Actress victory made her the first winner to be the child of two Oscar-winning parents. Cabaret was included on the AFI's list of the best films ever for the first time in 2007, ranking 63rd.

Grease

Original Broadway Run: Feb. 14, 1972 - April 13, 1980

Film's Release Year: 1978

Grease was nominated for an Oscar and five Golden Globes and won two People's Choice Awards. It grossed $159.9 million, more than 26 times its budget, making it the most popular film of 1978. Its soundtrack was the second most popular album of the year, trailing only the soundtrack for another John Travolta movie, Saturday Night Fever

Chicago

Original Broadway Run: June 3, 1975 - Aug. 27, 1977

Film's Release Year: 2002

Winner of six Oscars, Chicago became the first musical to be named Best Picture since Oliver! 34 years earlier. The movie won Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards for lead actress Renée Zellweger, supporting actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (who also won the Oscar) and the cast's performance. Budgeted at $45 million, it grossed $170.6 million.

Dreamgirls

Original Broadway Run: Dec, 20, 1981 - Aug. 11, 1985

Film's Release Year: 2006

Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson won SAG Awards and Golden Globes for their supporting roles. Dreamgirls won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical but became the first movie to receive the most Oscar nominations in a year without being nominated for Best Picture. It did win three Oscars, however, including Best Supporting Actress for Hudson. 

Les Misérables

Original Broadway Run: March 12, 1987 - May 18, 2003

Film's Release Year: 2012

Les Misérables won Golden Globes for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy, lead actor Hugh Jackman and supporting actress Anne Hathaway (who also won a SAG Award). The first musical to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar since Chicago 10 years earlier, Les Misérables won three Oscars - two in technical categories and one for Hathaway. Budgeted at $61 million, the movie grossed $148.8 million. 

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