High School Musical 3: Breaking Box-Office Records

October 25, 2008–Disney's “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” broke the box office records Friday for a live-action musical and G-rated pic.

However, moviegoers also embraced “Saw V” giving the Lionsgate horror franchise its third highest opening day of all-time.

Playing at 3,623 theaters, “HSM3” grossed $16.9 million, while “Saw V” at 3,060 earned $14 million.

Directed by Kenny Ortega and starring Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, the bow for “HSM3” beat the first day records set by 2007's “Hairspray” ($11 million) for a big screen tuner and Disney's February 3-D pic “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Tour” ($8.7 million) for a live-action G-rated film. “HSM3” will remain the popular choice through Sunday and is set to outstrip the $31.1 million opening weekend posted by “Hannah Montana.”

“Saw V” ranked behind the first Fridays of last year's “Saw IV” ($14.8 million) and 2006's “Saw III” ($14.5 million). “Saw III” holds the slasher series' top opening weekend title with $33.6 million.

In third, Fox's “Max Payne” collected $2.6 million in its second Friday on 3,381, down 63%, bringing its eight-day cume to $24.7 million.

New Line/Warner crime drama “Pride and Glory” starring Colin Farrell and Edward Norton opened in fourth with $2.3 million from 2,585 sites.

Disney's “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” remained afloat in fifth grossing $1.8 million from 3,190, slowing 40% from a week ago, and taking its current domestic cume to $73 million.

Universal's Clint Eastwood 1920s drama “Changeling” starring Angelina Jolie clocked in a strong theater average of $9,736 or $146,000 from 15 sites.

Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut “Synecdoche, New York” from Sony Classics was also popular in its per theater draw, earning $5,652 per site or $34,000 from six bookings.

Disney's re-release of Tim Burton's “Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D” counted $114,000 from 284.

Sony's thriller “Passengers” with Anne Hathaway which collected $61,000 from 125 theaters.