High School Musical 3 opened in Hong Kong on Friday. Sadly, I wasn't able to get to the cinema myself, but I am told that it's doing good business.
Sunday's SCMP re-printed a Guardian article (Shake your money maker) about the phenomenon that is Disney Channel. What's interesting about the channel is that rather than just endlessly re-running classic Disney movies (which they also do), they also have their own roster of artists and a corresponding array of original material, including Hannah Montana, Camp Rock and, of course, High School Musical. Most of it seems like rubbish to me but your average 11 year old thinks differently:
While the rest of the industry gave up on the under-14 market to target less challenging, less volatile areas, Disney seized its opportunity. "Clearly, the paradigm has changed. What has really accelerated in the last three or four years is that the Disney Channel has become an incredible content creation machine for the rest of the Walt Disney company. It is a fundamental shift in how business is done and how television is perceived within the company," says Marsh.
[..] Television has become the new radio. Our audience, the six- to 12-year-old demographic, is acutely attuned to the music world. By and large, the record companies dismissed them as too poor, too uninterested, too parochial. We figured out a model that feels like music just for them, that somebody thought through and delivered to the place that is most natural for them to consume it."
Turn on Disney Channel any time of the day or night and you're never more than a few minutes away from High School Musical (Sing-along, Dance-along, Hoop-along), Hannah Montana, Camp Rock, or the Jonas Brothers. And it's paying-off:
Months before Camp Rock hit town, Disney began bombarding journalists with figures about High School Musical's global dominance. To take just one, the High School Musical 2 soundtrack was the biggest-selling album in the world last year, shifting more than 6m copies. And the biggest seller the year before? The first High School Musical soundtrack.
These guys know exactly what they are doing.