Recently, it seems that when a film franchise has run its course as a theatrical series, it can still find life, and profitability for its studio, as direct-to-video or made-for-tv fare. Yes, American Pie, I’m looking at you. Disney, however, is doing a reversal of this trend with their highly successful High School Musical made-for-tv movie franchise, announcing today that the third installment, High School Musical 3: Senior Year will be released theatrically next fall.
The movie comes in the wake of the impressive ratings, when 18 million viewers tuned into the Disney Channel for the second High School Musical‘s debut.
According to Variety, the film’s story will focus on-
Seniors Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) facing the prospect of being separated from one another as they head off in different directions to college. Joined by the rest of the Wildcats, they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes and fears about their future.
The franchise has already turned out to be phenomenially popular, with sales of the first two High School Musicals DVDs and soundtrack albums hitting into the millions.
Stars Efron and Hudgens will be joined by the rest of the regular High School Musical cast- Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman. Peter Barsocchini and Kenny Ortega, the writer and director respectively of the previous High School Musicals, will return for part three as well.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year will bop its way into theaters on October 24.