‘High School Musical’ By The Numbers: Breaking Down The Hit Movie On Its 10th Anniversary

Robbie Daw | January 20, 2016 9:15 am
Vanessa Hudgens x 'Grease'
The 'High School Musical' star will appear in Fox's live production of 'Grease'.

Wow, aging kiddies — believe it or not, it’s already time for an East High reunion. For on this very day (January 20) in 2006, millions of Disney Channel viewers tuned in to watch the premiere airing of High School Musical. It was a small, modern day showtunes-filled movie scheduled on a Friday night that introduced the world to basketball player Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), brainy singer Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), plotting theater diva Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) and her brother Ryan (Lucas Grabeel), plus their pals Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu) and Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman). To be honest, HSM played like a cheesy, low budget mashup of Romeo And Juliet and Grease…but somehow this Glee precursor had its own mixture of charm that broke through all the schmaltz and worked.

No one could have anticipated how ratings for the movie would shoot through the roof, the huge amount of units High School Musical‘s accompanying soundtrack would sell or just what a cultural phenomenon the Disney Channel would set into motion with this particular production.

Ten years to the day after High School Musical first aired, we’ve broken down the achievements of the movie, its cast members and director Kenny Ortega.

Date High School Musical first aired: January 20, 2006

The movie’s production budget: $4.2 million

Amount of viewers upon its first airing: 7.7 million

Emmys High School Musical won: 2

Television Critics Association Awards won: 1

Teen Choice Awards won: 3

Current Rotten Tomatoes reading: 56%

Age of Corbin Bleu when HSM first aired: 16

Age of Vanessa Hudgens when HSM first aired: 17

Age of Zac Efron when HSM first aired: 18

Age of Ashley Tisdale when HSM first aired: 20

Age of Lucas Grabeel when HSM first aired: 21

Age of Monique Coleman when HSM first aired: 25

Cast members born in Moscow: 1 (Olesya Rulin, who plays composer “Kelsi”)

Year East High School, the movie’s location in Salt Lake City, was founded: 1913

Date the soundtrack was released: January 10, 2006

Musical numbers in the movie: 9

Songs on the soundtrack that don’t actually appear in the movie: 1 (“I Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”)

Number of vocalists doing the “Troy Bolton” lead on HSM songs: 2 (Zac Efron and non-cast member Drew Seeley)

Weeks the soundtrack spent at #1 on the Billboard 200: 2

Copies the soundtrack sold in 2006: 3.7 million. It was the year’s best-seller.

Billboard Hot 100 chart position of soundtrack song “Breaking Free”: #4

UK chart position of “Breaking Free”: #9

Number of DVDs sold during first week of release in May 2006: 1.2 million

Number of sequels to High School Musical: 2 (Disney Channel’s High School Musical 2 in 2007, and the theatrical release High School Musical 3: Senior Year the following year)

Highest Rotten Tomatoes rating of the three movies: 65%, for HSM 3: Senior Year

Number of spin-off movies: 1 (2011 straight-to-DVD release Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure)

Films HSM director Kenny Ortega provided choreography for in the 1980s: 7, including Xanadu, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing

Movies Kenny Ortega directed before the HSM franchise:
2 (1992’s Newsies and 1993’s Hocus Pocus)

Movies Kenny Ortega has directed since the HSM franchise: 2 (2009 concert documentary Michael Jackson’s This Is It and 2015 Disney Channel film Descendants)

Years Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens were rumored to have been dating in real life: 5 (2005 – 2010)

Films Zac Efron has appeared in since the first HSM: 16

Movie musicals Zac Efron has appeared in outside of HSM: 1 (Hairspray)

Albums Vanessa Hudgens has released since High School Musical: 2

Albums Ashley Tisdale has released since High School Musical: 2

Albums Corbin Bleu has released since High School Musical: 2

Cast members who have competed on Dancing With The Stars: 2 (Monique Coleman in 2006 and Corbin Bleu in 2013)

Cast members (of the main six) who did not show up for this past weekend’s HSM reunion: 1 (Zac Efron)

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