Disney's Worldly Approach Makes HSM a Global Smash

By Michael Roston,  Newser User
Posted Oct 28, 2008 5:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – The success of High School Musical 3 proves that 293 million tweens can't be wrong. The series’ third installment debuted No. 1 in 19 international markets, confirming Disney's success with a strategy that marries the franchise’s universal themes to local cultures, Time reports. “You weave it together, forming a partnership between programming and marketing,” one exec says. “You go different places to reach different people.”

Foreign partners doubted audiences would fall for HSM, but Disney bet, correctly, on growing middle-class culture in the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia loving the theme of kids “learning how to be themselves,” Rich Ross continues. The adaptation to international markets also lets tweens sing along in Hindi, Spanish, and Polish. Nearly $700 million later, it's hard to argue.