It's not just screaming little tweens who are buzzing about Disney's Hannah Montana 3D concert film, which open in theaters Friday for a one-week run.
Having already sold out during popular show times in certain markets, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert, is no doubt making online ticket sellers happy, too.
For example, Fandango.com, the largest online movie ticket seller, is likely to mark January as one the most--if not the most--trafficked month in its eight-year history. "Most of the traffic is due to Hannah Montana," said Fandango spokesman Harry Medved, who added that it's the site's "biggest concert film ever" in terms of sales.
And that says something, especially because the film is only playing in about 700 already 3D-equipped theaters nationwide and is only screening for seven days.
For those readers (who, unlike me, as a mom) aren't privy to fads among Disney-controlled prepubescent girls, Hannah Montana is a pop sensation fueled by her TV persona a la Donny and Marie, The Partridge Family, The Monkees, or, my personal favorite, Shaun Cassidy (of Hardy Boys fame). The Hannah Montana hype, however, has hit modern-day levels of rabid consumerism, with merchandise ranging from video games to a clothing line.
Montana is actually Miley Cyrus, daughter of country star Billy Ray Cyrus. Her rise to fame began with the launch two years ago of Disney's Hannah Montana TV show, in which she hides her pop star identity in order to live a so-called normal teenage life in Malibu, Calif.
The wildly successful show led to the release of two Hannah Montana albums and a sold-out concert tour that set attendance records and triggered parents to reportedly pay some $500 per ticket.
Many people think the movie is a response to the concert--an attempt to give those who couldn't get tickets to the show a chance to see it. That, a Disney representative said, is a misconception. The film was planned long before the concert tour, which wraps up Thursday, the representative said. The unusually short one-week theater run, she added, is meant to make it more like a concert event.
The film was made using a custom-made 3D camera system developed by James Cameron and Vince Pace. In production notes, Pace described the system as having two eyes, in the form of two high-definition cameras, and a very powerful brain, in the form of a computer.
"James Cameron and I set out to change entertainment as we know it by designing the tools necessary to shoot a new form of 3D, one that is based more on experience than effect," he said.