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The Death* Of Musicals


With recent movie releases like Wonka and Mean Girls, you might be tempted to say that musicals are more popular than ever. The issue? Nobody knows that they are musicals. On the release of Wonka, I watched it with my parents who heavily disliked the movie. The reason, they said, was that they didn’t expect it to be a musical. The same thing happened when my sister went to see Mean Girls in the theater.

These movie studios believe that the demand and interest for musicals are declining, so in response, they advertised both these movies as something else. “As Matt Singer noted at ScreenCrush back in November, there are a handful of musicals hitting screens in the coming weeks and the studios are taking great pains to ensure that no one knows these big screen confections are, in fact, musicals. Wonka, sure, but also remakes of Mean Girls and The Color Purple, a sequel to Enchanted, and the Netflix animated original Leo” (Bunch par.3).

Employees at Paramount even admitted the aversion of musical advertisement, “According to Paramount’s Marc Weinstock, the decision to avoid marketing it as a musical was intentional. “We didn’t want to run out and say it’s a musical because people tend to treat musicals differently,” he told Variety” (Parkel). The issue with this is that while you still have release day sales, normal people are confused and dislike the movie. This leaves the actual market of musical enjoyers with bad reviews, drawing them away from films they would probably enjoy because of these companies’ bad logistics and advertising. So while musicals are not actually dying, these companies’ beliefs that they are could one day make that a reality. 


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Bunch, Sonny. “Why Is WB Hiding That ‘Wonka’ Is a Musical?” Accessed 19 Mar. 2024.

Parkel, Inga. “Mean Girls Exec Reveals Reason Film Remake Wasn’t Marketed as a Musical.” The Independent, 17 Jan. 2024.,

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