Apropos of Disney’s Teen Beach Movie’s soundtrack turning #1 in the iTunes charts today, we provide you a comparative list of the most downloaded/bought movie musical soundtracks according to three different records (iTunes, Amazon and Billboard).
The prevalence of the teen/young adult audience in most platforms is absolutely evident and understandable. Just yesterday, the premiere of TV film Teen Beach Movie attracted an estimate of 8.4 million viewers, a figure which, according to Variety, has been the highest for the Disney Channel in four years.
On the other hand, the surprisingly sustained popularity of Moulin Rouge! in the iTunes chart after twelve years of age is easily explainable due to its connection to popular music. Movie musicals from the last decade have followed a jukebox formula –Across the Universe, Mamma Mia!-, or opted for a dynamic mixture of classic songs and current music, as in Pitch Perfect; a fashion started by films like Everyone says I love you in 1996, and Moulin Rouge! in 2001.
Still, some less teen-oriented musicals like Les Misérables, or old-fashioned films such as The Sound of Music, have managed to reach the top spots. However, it must be taken into consideration that both movies are based on popular stage musicals which have been performed in schools and local theaters, thus becoming part of youngsters’ lives. A good dose of longing takes part in these triumphs.
Nostalgia and modern reformation seem to be the key for understanding the new musical films. Teen Beach Movie, for example, mixes popular music with old narratives –that of the teen musicals of past decades. TV shows like Glee have also based its’ popularity on mixing well-known music from different eras with a modern spin and present-day tales.
In any case, it’s great to see musicals maintaining an important place of preference amongst viewers and consumers. Renovation keeps musicals –and any genre film- alive. As long as audiences find a way to represent their problems and desires on a screen, and resolve them temporarily through music and dance, the musical will keep on existing and producing every once in a while a true masterpiece.