Again in 2008, not solely did now we have a Nolan epic launched towards a woman-directed movie that skewed towards a feminine demographic, however we had an virtually similar division of movie pursuits dropped by the identical studios, solely Nolan was then at WB, and Mamma Mia! was the Common launch. Within the aftermath, two stone chilly classics leapt (and skipped, and cha-cha’d, and lip-synched all of the phrases to “Dancing Queen”) into movie historical past.
On the time, this was a standard however canny transfer by Common to launch Mamma Mia! reverse one other “boys with toys” superhero flick. Simply the yr prior, the additionally Meryl Streep-led The Satan Wears Prada opened on the identical weekend as Superman Returns. But the storied legacy of The Darkish Mamma! can be one thing else altogether grander.
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, Mamma Mia! was considered by Common as an try and faucet into the then nascent return of the film musical. Only a few years earlier originally of the last decade, Moulin Rouge! (2001) and Chicago (2002) introduced that long-dormant style roaring again to BOFFO glory, with Chicago even successful Greatest Image on the Oscars and a number of different awards. Within the aftermath, there was a gold rush in adapting different Broadway hits like Chicago, with combined levels of success. But Mamma Mia! had a bonus the likes of Lease (2005) and The Phantom of the Opera (2004) may by no means hope for: It was a present wallpapered round ABBA music.
Sure, there was additionally a Mamma Mia! stage musical that performed each West Finish and Broadway, however this present was at the start a glittering repackaging of the best pop hits of the Swedish supergroup’s globally beloved Seventies pop music catalog. It was the following smartest thing to seeing an ABBA live performance stay, and hey, this one got here with a narrative! Additionally in contrast to a dear theater ticket, Mamma Mia! the film supplied your entire ABBA nation all over the world the prospect to see glitzy film stars like Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, and, infamously, Pierce Brosnan skip alongside postcard-perfect Greek islands at sundown, dancing above the crash of the waves as they belted disco requirements.
Did it matter if half of them couldn’t really sing the songs they had been assigned? Effectively, to critics, sure. Completely. Brosnan, Firth, and Stellan Skarsgård’s infamously restricted vocal vary, in addition to a number of curious decisions of staging, made the already light-weight Mamma Mia! a punching bag for largely male movie reviewers. Nevertheless, the damndest factor about it was… the film wasn’t made for them.
And the viewers it was made for cherished Mamma Mia!, which turned a form of wine mother pilgrimage in the summertime of 2008, opening at a good $28 million within the third weekend of July. It was fractional subsequent to Nolan’s brooding and somber The Darkish Knight, which turned Batman and the Joker into allegorical stand-in figures for the Conflict on Terror. However at the same time as The Darkish Knight opened at $158.4 million, teeing the Nolan epic up for a rare run on the American field workplace the place it briefly turned the second highest-grossing movie of all time behind Titanic, it additionally didn’t upset the viewers in any respect for Mamma Mia!, which likewise confirmed up in cinemas week after week, and month after month.