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High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kenny Ortega
Produced by Bill Borden
Barry Rosenbush
Don Schain
Written by Peter Barsocchini
Starring Zac Efron
Vanessa Hudgens
Ashley Tisdale
Lucas Grabeel
Corbin Bleu
Monique Coleman
Olesya Rulin
Chris Warren, Jr.
Music by David Lawrence
Matthew Gerrard
Robbie Nevil
Shankar Mahadevan
Cinematography Daniel Aranyò
Editing by Seth Flaum
Studio Borden and Rosenbush Entertainment
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) October 22, 2008 (2008-10-22)
Running time 112 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $67 million[1]
Gross revenue $252,909,177[1]
Preceded by High School Musical 2
Followed by High School Musical 4: East Meets West

High School Musical 3: Senior Year is a musical film released to cinemas in 2008. It is the third installment in Disney's High School Musical film franchise. Its theatrical release in the United States began on October 24, 2008. Kenny Ortega returned as director and choreographer, as did all six primary actors.

This latest sequel follows high school seniors Troy and Gabriella as they are faced with the challenging prospect of being separated after graduating from high school. Joined by the rest of their East High Wildcat friends, they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes, and fears about the future.

In spite of receiving mixed reviews, in its first three days of release, High School Musical 3: Senior Year grossed $42 million in North America and an additional $40 million overseas, setting a new record for the largest opening weekend for a musical film.



There are 16 minutes left of the Wildcats' championship basketball game against the West High Knights, however the Wildcats are losing. Team captain Troy immediately rallies their spirits ("Now or Never"). With the team's spirit raised, they win, thanks to the winning shot from their newest team member Jimmie "The Rocket" Zara. Later, at Troy's after-match party at his house, Troy and Gabriella are seen thinking about their future and wishing that their last few months at East High would not end ("Right Here, Right Now").

Sharpay meets Tiara Gold, a British exchange student whom she hires to be her personal assistant. When drama teacher Ms. Darbus notices that there were so few sign-ups for the spring musical, Sharpay suggests she could do a one-woman show. This alarms Kelsi, who is writing the show, so she immediately signs up everyone in their homeroom for it instead. This results in Ms. Darbus announcing they will create a play about their final days at East High, called Senior Year. In addition, she reveals that Sharpay, Ryan, Kelsi, and Troy have all been considered for a scholarship at Juilliard School, but only one of them is to be chosen. Troy is confused, because he did not apply to Juilliard. Sharpay becomes desperate to win the scholarship, and knowing that Kelsi will give the best songs to Troy and Gabriella in the musical, she gets Ryan to try to persuade Kelsi to give them a song, by predicting her (and Ryan's) future ("I Want It All").

The next day, Gabriella and Troy meet on the rooftop and she teaches him how to waltz ("Can I Have This Dance?"). Chad then asks Taylor to go to prom with him with a cheesy pick-up line. She initially refuses due to his lack of enthusiasm, but later agrees when Chad proves he can put in some effort and asks again in front of everyone in the school. The group rehearses for the musical, a scene about their prom night ("A Night To Remember"). The next day Ryan walks in on Kelsi composing ("Just Wanna Be With You") in the music room and performs it with her, and then he asks her to prom halfway through. While Troy and Chad reminisce about their past ("The Boys Are Back"), Sharpay and Tiara discover that Gabriella has a chance to go to college early. Sharpay later convinces Troy that he is the only thing keeping Gabriella from her dream ("Right Here, Right Now (Reprise)"). Troy talks to Gabriella about this over pizza, and after sharing an awkward goodnight, Gabriella sings ("Walk Away") and leaves for college the next day.

Troy's dad, Jack, talks to him about his academic future, which he expects will be in the University of Albuquerque. This assumption makes Troy become angry and confused, and he runs away, storming around East High bewildered ("Scream") until he finally screams at the top of his lungs in the theatre. Ms. Darbus has been there all this time watching and reveals that she sent in his application for Juilliard, as she knew how comfortable he was on stage and how much he liked it. Troy takes no offense and thinks about the advice given to him. Troy later gets a call from Gabriella saying that although she loves him, she will not return to Albuquerque, as she is too used to being away from him and all her friends. However, on the day of the prom, Troy visits Gabriella at Stanford University and convinces her to return, as everyone is not the same without her ("Can I Have This Dance? (Reprise)")and share a kiss together during the song. Back at East High, Jimmie receives a text from Troy to tell him to cover for him onstage because he is going to be late. The Juilliard representatives are there, and watch as the show seems to go well ("Senior Year Spring Musical").

During the opening number, Kelsi and Ryan debut. While during the second number, Chad, Jason, Zeke and Martha debut, Ryan does his number with the many chorus girls; Jimmie then performs with Sharpay and embarrasses her. Troy and Gabriella appear during the second half of the show and sing their duet together. Tiara then betrays Sharpay and tells her how she is going to take over next year in the drama department. Sharpay finally learns how it feels to be humiliated, but does not wish to go down. While Tiara performs, Sharpay immediately crashes her performance and upstages her.

Ms. Darbus reveals that both Kelsi and Ryan have won the Juilliard scholarship ("We're All in This Together (Graduation Mix)"). Taylor will go to Yale University; Sharpay will go to University of Albuquerque and along with that, she will also assist Ms. Darbus in running the drama department in the fall (so that Tiara does not get to take over the Drama Department). Troy decides to go to the University of California, Berkeley, where he can play basketball, study drama, and be close to Gabriella. After learning about Troy's decision, Chad runs offstage and into the school gym. There he and Troy work things out and learn that their college's basketball teams will play each other the upcoming fall. Chad decides to attend Albuquerque (U of A).

At the graduation ceremony, Troy gives the class speech. Throwing their caps in the air, the graduates form a giant wildcat before breaking out into song and dance ("High School Musical"). The six stars walk down the field where a curtain closes off the graduation ceremony and turns into a stage. The six stars do their signature jump, and then the camera does a close-up of each actor. They take their final bow as the curtain closes.


See High School Musical Cast of Characters

Musical numbers

Song Lead Singers Scene Notes
"Now or Never" Troy, Gabriella, Coach Bolton, Chad, Zeke, Jason and Martha East High gym The championship game
"Right Here, Right Now" Troy and Gabriella Troy's Treehouse After-party at bolton residence
"I Want It All" Sharpay and Ryan East High cafeteria Sharpay's dream sequence
"Can I Have This Dance?" Troy and Gabriella Rooftop garden of East High Gabriella teaches Troy the waltz
"A Night To Remember" Troy, Chad, Gabriella, Jason, Zeke, Taylor, Martha, Kelsi, Sharpay, Ryan East High Auditorium Rehearsal for musical number
"Just Wanna Be With You" Ryan and Kelsi; Troy and Gabriella East High music room A declaration of love in the music room
"The Boys Are Back" Troy and Chad Riley's Auto Salvage Junkyard Troy and Chad's dream sequence
"Right Here, Right Now" (Reprise) Troy and Gabriella Gabriella's house/Troy's house Deleted scene
"Walk Away" Gabriella Gabriella's house Gabriella's move to Stanford University
"Scream" Troy Throughout East High Troy's decision to stay in theatre and basketball
"Can I Have This Dance?" (Reprise) Troy and Gabriella Stanford University Troy convinces Gabriella to move back
"Senior Year Spring Musical" Kelsi, Ryan, Sharpay, Troy, Gabriella, Jimmie & Tiara East High Auditorium (The Spring Musical performance) Featuring: Last Chance, Now or Never(Reprise), I Want it All(Reprise),
Just Wanna be with You(Reprise), A Night to Remember(Reprise)
"We're All In This Together
(Graduation Mix)"
Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad, Taylor East High auditorium/graduation ceremony A reprise from the first installment
"High School Musical" Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad, Taylor East High graduation ceremony Finale


According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, " help lure the production back to where it all began – at Salt Lake City's East High School – the GOED board Friday approved a maximum $2 million incentive for the production, the largest ever given to entice a filmmaker to Utah."[2]

Filming began on May 3, 2008. The 41 days scheduled for shooting was a longer period than for the first two films.[3]

Stan Carrizosa, the winner of ABC's summer reality show, High School Musical: Get in the Picture appears in a music video "Just Getting Started" that is shown over the end credits of the theatrical release of the film.[4] The show's other 11 finalists were featured in the music video as well.


Zac Efron was quoted in People Magazine as saying, "I can tell you that if the script is good and if we all agree on a final script, then there's nothing that is going to hold us back from doing it. We have fun making these movies and that's very rare in this business."[5] Rumors persisted of ongoing salary disputes between Disney and the lead performers, particularly Efron. According to Rachel Abramowitz, as reported online by the Chicago Tribune, "an eclectic cross-section of Hollywood insiders think Efron should get a cool $5 million for High School Musical 3, the theatrical version of the franchise, which Disney hoped to make before the Writers Guild strike and Screen Actors Guild strike shut down Hollywood for several months. Efron declined to comment for the article, and although contract negotiations still are ongoing, sources say Efron is being offered a salary closer to $3 million, not $5 million, for the follow-up, which focuses on senior year at East High. Whatever the price, he's still perceived as a steal."[6]

Ortega stated that pre-production would most likely start in January 2008. Filming began May 3, 2008, at East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. He stated that the script had been submitted before the writers' strike started and that they were developing music. He added that filming will happen in Salt Lake City, Utah (as the first two films), hinted that the plot will be something of the nature of the Wildcat's final year in High School and stated, "it looks like we've rounded up the cast."[7][8]

Before filming began, the HSM3 board and cast held a press conference at East High School announcing the start of filming. The movie would be released in theaters (in the United States) on October 24, 2008, though the movie was to open in several countries including Great Britain at least one week earlier. The film had a $13.3 million dollar budget and a 40-day shooting period. This film was said at the time to be the final installment with the current cast. The London premiere was the biggest London premiere of all time.[9] Selena Gomez was offered the role of Tiara, but turned it down.

Vanessa Hudgens photo controversy

Despite early speculation that Vanessa Hudgens would be dropped from High School Musical 3 due to her nude photo scandal, The Walt Disney Company denied the reports, saying, "Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson."[10][11][12]

Although it was reported by OK! Magazine that Hudgens would be replaced by Adrienne Bailon or Sabrina Bryan from the Cheetah Girls in High School Musical 3,[13] Access Hollywood confirmed that the cast was still in negotiations and Hudgens would not be cut from High School Musical 3. Hudgens's representative quoted, "Totally untrue. It is an old rumor," the representative told Access, "OK! Magazine never bothered to check the fact with me, but they did call Disney who said it wasn't true, but yet OK! ran it anyway. Apparently, OK! Magazine was having a slow news day."[14]


Critical reception

Vanessa Hudgens, who plays Gabriella Montez, at the Melbourne premiere of High School Musical 3: Senior Year which was both critically, and commercially successful.

As of April 2009, High School Musical 3: Senior Year has a fresh rating of 66% at Rotten Tomatoes, who gave it a golden tomato for best musical film of 2008, and has been generally well received.[15][16] The Telegraph praises the changes brought about by the higher budget of a theatrical release: "High School Musical 3 uses its bigger budget to inject colour, scale, and visual depth. The opening basketball game alone is dizzying as the camera swoops high and wide, before a winning point makes the crowd erupt".[17]

Stephen Farber, for Reuters UK, says the movie "will please fan base but won't win converts", as the story "never really does kick in" and that "the picture quickly grows tedious",[18] while MSNBC's Alonso Duralde describes it as "a stitched-together Frankenstein monster of an entertainment, featuring major components that were already trotted out the first two times."[19] Peter Johnson describes the movie as so bland that it "makes cellophane taste like chicken jalfrezi", and says that "the sheer squeaky-cleanness of everything is creepy, and when the characters are called upon to dance, they do so with robotic efficiency, and sing in that decaffeinated high vibrato, like 21st-century Hollywood castrati."[20]

Entertainment Weekly on the other hand was positive toward the movie, praising the stars' energy: "the beauty of Efron's performance is that he's a vibrant athletic hoofer who leaps and clowns with the heartthrob vigor of a young Gene Kelly, yet he's also achingly sincere. His fast-break alertness makes him the most empathetic of teen idols; he's like a David Cassidy who knows how to act, and who can swoon without getting too moist about it. Apart from Efron, the breakout star is Ashley Tisdale, whose Sharpay makes narcissism a goofy, bedazzled pleasure."[21]

The BBC film critic Mark Kermode loved the film and said it was in his top 5 films for the year, and named Tisdale the "Best Supporting Actress" of 2008.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram stated that the latest installment was "critic-proof" and "everything fans could hope for and more." They go on to say that "the kids finally look like true performers rather than Disney Channel mainstays desperately trying to remain relevant, and they deserve the lucrative careers that lie ahead" and gave the film a rating of four out of five stars. The movie was also well received in the UK.[22] Hudgens was recognized as Favorite Movie Actress at Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, Efron was voted Best Male Performance at the 2009 MTV awards and Choice Actor: Music/Dance at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards and Tisdale was voted Breakthrough Performance Female at the 2009 MTV Movie awards and Best Supporting Actress at the 2009 UK Kermode Awards.

Box office

The film opened $16.9 million on Friday behind Hannah Montana: The Movie for the biggest opening day for a musical film of all-time, which made at #1 (beating out Saw V in box office earnings) with a domestic opening weekend of $42,030,184 from 5,900 screens across 3,623 theaters, for a $11,601 per theater average and a $7,124 per screen average, and breaking the record, previously held by Mamma Mia! The Movie, for the biggest opening ever for a movie musical.[23] The film also opened at #1 overseas, with an international opening of $40,000,000. High School Musical 3: Senior Year made $90,559,416 in domestic and $162,349,761 in other territories leading up for a total of $252,909,177 worldwide, which was above everyone's, even Disney's expectations.[1]

Awards and nominations

2009 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards
  • Feature Film category, 2009 BAFTA Kids' Awards.[24]
2009 Kids' Choice Awards
PFCS Awards
  • Best Live Action Family Film
UK Kermode Awards
2009 MTV Movie Awards
  • Best Male Performance - Zac Efron
  • Breakthrough Performance Female - Ashley Tisdale
  • Best Movie (Nominated)
  • Breakthrough Performance Female Vanessa Hudgens (Nominated)
  • Best Kiss - Vanessa Hudgens & Zac Efron (Nominated)
Teen Choice Awards 2009
Mega Media Magazine Awards
  • Fave Movie: Musical
  • Fave Movie Actor - Zac Efron
  • Fave Movie Actress - Vanessa Hudgens (Nominated)
  • Fave Villain (Women's Category) - Ashley Tisdale
  • Fave Hot, Acting Cutie: Men - Zac Efron (Nominated)
  • Fave Hot, Acting Cutie: Women - Ashley Tisdale
  • Fave Hot, Acting Cutie: Women - Vanessa Hudgens (Nominated)
  • Fave Movie Soundtrack (Nominated)
ME Movie Festival (LEBANON)
  • Best Teen Movie
  • Best Soundtrack
  • Best Foreign Actress-Vanessa Anne Hudgens (Nominated)
  • Best Foreign Actress-Ashley Tisdale (Won)
  • Best Foreign Actor-Lucas Grabeel (Won)

Other releases


On November 7, 2008, High School Musical 3: Senior Year: The Sing-Along Edition with lyrics highlighted on the screen was released in selected theaters.[25]

Home release

High School Musical 3: Senior Year was released in Region 1 DVD and Blu-ray on February 17, 2009[26], in Region 2 DVD on February 16, 2009[27] and in Region 3 DVD on February 24, 2009.[28] The DVD was released in single- and two-disc editions.[29] In Region 2 the single-disc edition DVD featured most of the two-disc edition bonus features such as bloopers, deleted scenes, extended version of the film, sing-along and cast goodbyes.[30] In Region 3, only the single-disc edition DVD was released with all of the two-disc bonus features as well the extended edition of the movie. The Region 4 DVD was released on April 8, 2009. As of November 1, 2009 the DVD has sold a total of 3,240,288 copies and generated $58.17 million in sales revenue.[31]

Disney Channel International Release

It premiered on Disney Channel India on 18 October 2009 and on 5 December in Disney Channel Asia. On 4 December, for one night only, it premiered on Disney Cinemagic, and it will premiere on Disney Channel (UK & Ireland) in January/February 2010. It premiered on the 12th of December on Disney Channel New Zealand/Australia.


A fourth film of the series, titled High School Musical 4: East Meets West, is being filmed and will be directed by Jeffrey Hornaday. It is set to air on Disney Channel in the fall of 2010. However the movie will not feature many of the main characters from the other High School Musical (film series).


  1. ^ a b c "High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)".  
  2. ^ "Filming of High School Musical 3 to begin this month in Utah". April 3, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2008.  
  3. ^ De Leon, Kris (January 2, 2008). "High School Musical 3: Official Shooting Date Confirmed". BuddyTV.  
  4. ^ Donahue, Ann (May 8, 2008). "High School Musical Reality Show Prize Revealed". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  
  5. ^ Akers, Shelley (September 3, 2007). "Zac Efron: I'll Make HSM3 "If the Script Is Good"". People.,,20054476,00.html.  
  6. ^ Abramowitz, Rachel (September 5, 2007). "Zac Efron's toughest test: Graduating from High School Musical". Los Angeles Times.  
  7. ^ "High School Musical likely to start shooting season three in spring". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2007-09-08.  
  8. ^ "High School Musical Cast Super-duper Confirmed".  
  9. ^ "High School Musical 3 Roll Call!". News4Jax. Retrieved 2008-06-07.  
  10. ^ "Musical actress apologizes". The Boston Globe. September 8, 2007.  
  11. ^ "Disney Backs High School Musical Star". MSN. Retrieved 2007-09-08.  
  12. ^ "Disney backs star after her apology for nude photo". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-09-08.  
  13. ^ "Curtains for Vanessa's High School Musical". OK!. October 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-17.  
  14. ^ "Musical star Hudgens not dumped by Disney". MSNBC. October 17, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2007.  .
  15. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes".  
  16. ^ Lane, Anthony (November 3, 2008). "The Current Cinema: Let's Put on a Show!". The New Yorker 84 (35): 122–123. Retrieved 17 April 2009.  
  17. ^ "Telegraph".  
  18. ^ "Reuters".  
  19. ^ "MSNBC".  
  20. ^ "".  
  21. ^ "EW".,,20234985,00.html.  
  22. ^ "Star Telegram".  
  23. ^ "Reuters".  
  24. ^,886,BA.html
  25. ^ "Wildcats Are Go for High School Musical Sing-Along This Friday". Cinematical. Retrieved 2008-11-06.  
  26. ^ "High School Musical 3: Senior Year - WDSHE".  
  27. ^ "Amazon UK High School Musical 3: Senior Year Profile".  
  28. ^ "High School Musical 3 Senior Year".  
  29. ^ "High School Musical 3 (US - DVD R1/BD RA) in News > Releases at DVDActive". DVDActive. 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  30. ^ " Region 2: High School Musical 3: Senior Year Bonus Features".  
  31. ^ [

External links

Simple English

High School Musical 3:
Senior Year
Directed by Kenny Ortega
Produced by Bill Borden
Barry Rosenbush
Don Schain (co-producer)
Written by Peter Barsocchini
Starring Zac Efron
Vanessa Hudgens
Ashley Tisdale
Lucas Grabeel
Corbin Bleu
Monique Coleman
Music by David Lawrence
Matthew Gerrard
Robbie Nevil
Shankar Mahadevan
Randy Peterson
Antonnia Armato
Andy Dodd
Faye Greenberg
Jamie Houston
Adam Watts
Kevin Quinn
Cinematography Daniel Aranyo
Editing by Seth Flaum
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) October 24, 2008
Country United States
Language English
Budget $13.3 million[1]
Preceded by High School Musical 2
Official website
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

High School Musical 3: Senior Year will be the third installment in Disney's High School Musical franchise. It was released in theaters on October 24, 2008. Kenny Ortega returns as director and choreographer, so do all the main cast.



Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez are facing the prospect of being separated from each other as they go off in different directions when graduating from East High. Joined by the rest of their Wildcat friends, including Sharpay Evans, Ryan Evans, Chad Danforth, and Taylor McKessie they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes and fears about the future.


Returning cast

  • Zac Efron as Troy Bolton
  • Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez
  • Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay Evans
  • Lucas Grabeel as Ryan Evans
  • Corbin Bleu as Chad Danforth
  • Monique Coleman as Taylor McKessie
  • Olesya Rulin as Kelsi Nielsen
  • Ryne Sanborn as Jason Cross
  • Chris Warren, Jr. as Zeke Baylor
  • Kaycee Stroh as Martha Cox
  • Alyson Reed as Ms. Darbus
  • Bart Johnson as Jack Bolton
  • Leslie Wing as Lucille Bolton

Other websites

Official Site


  1. Wallace, Brice. "Utah Offering $2M incentive for 'Musical 3'", Deseret Morning News, December 15, 2007

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