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Discussions of the recent box office have focused on movies like Mission: Impossible and the ever-present Disney machine, but another film has quietly been raking in cash without many people noticing. Mamma Mia! Here we go Again has been putting together a solid run at the global box office, with a total of over $280 million in the four weeks since release.
While the musical sequel that includes all the ABBA songs you didn't know has done a little over $100 million domestically, it's nearly doubled that number overseas, including an impressive $54 million in the United Kingdom, making a top five movie of the year. It seems that the universal appeal of Swedish pop music means that the movie crosses language barriers and works for pretty much everybody. For the record, the movie has done over $7 million in Sweden, which makes it the number two movie of the year in the nation, slightly behind Avengers: Infinity War.
So far, it looks like the trajectory of Mamma Mia! Here we go Again might be similar to that of another recent movie musical, The Greatest Showman. The Hugh Jackman-led film where he played P.T. Barnum ended its box office run with $434 million. It took about the same amount of time to break $100 million, though it's hard to make a direct comparison due to Showman opening during the holiday season. That film also was never number one at the box office, but it had remarkable staying power, remaining in the top 10 for almost three months.
While it remains to be seen if Mamma Mia is going to do quite as well as The Greatest Showman, it's already an unqualified hit. The sequel had a reported budget of about $75 million. Even with marketing costs added in it's clear this movie is making money. At this point, the only question is does ABBA have enough songs to justify a third movie?
Of course, while Here we go Again has done really well, it doesn't actually hold a candle to the original Mamma Mia! which was an absolute force of nature. The first movie did over $600 million worldwide. While it only did a little over $140 million domestically, it was huge around the world. While the sequel may have done a healthy $7 million in Sweden, the original did $25 million.
What does seem clear is that musicals, while they're not nearly as prevelant as they once were in Hollywood, are still quite popular with audiences. Hopefully, the success of movies like Here we go Again, The Greatest Showman and La La Land, will help make sure that fans of musicals will at least get a regular drip feed of song and dance in the movies.