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The Print

Why is “Musical” Missing?

With the recent releases of Wonka and Mean Girls, musicals have become a constant in the theater. However, many viewers were unaware of the musical aspect of the movies going into it. But why were the movies marketed this way? 

Neither movie has been advertised explicitly as a musical. The trailers featured virtually no solos or dance numbers, giving movie-goers no hints as to the true nature of the movie. Movie executives are said to do this because of a stigma or preconceived notion surrounding musical movies. Many take the word “musical” and often associate it with the characters singing every word, and this can be a turn-off for those interested in seeing it, therefore lowering box office numbers. 

Timothée Chalamet as famed chocolate maker, Willy Wonka. (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

Though trailers found online for the new Mean Girls movie do not have star Reneé Rapp belting out songs from the iconic Broadway show, trailers that do include the tunes were primarily played before the Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie as a way of reaching the target audience of young women and girls who are interested in music and performance.  

The bottom line is that most studios avoid using the word “musical” in an attempt to have high box office numbers and high grossing movies overall. Usually, a simple Google search is all you need to uncover what you’re getting yourself into before heading to the theater, rather than being blindsided by song and dance. 

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About the Contributor
Kasey Conlon , Staff Reporter
Kasey Conlon is a first-year member of The Print, contributing as a staff reporter. She is involved in other clubs such as Green School, Girl Up, Graphic Design Club, and the Drama Company’s Tech Crew. Kasey works as a lifeguard at the Fallston Club and in her free time, enjoys watching movies, TV, and immersing herself in other forms of pop culture. 
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