Director: Kenny Ortega
Stars: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
Lesson Learned: Money over everything.
Retelling Romeo and Juliet for the YouTube generation, ADHD kids weaned on their parents' Wicked CDs, and blah blah blah—High School Musical is stupidly successful, and that's all you need to know.
Oh, your favorite DCOM is Hounded? Well, High School Musical took a dump on the ratings for Hounded seven million times. It catapulted Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale to success. It launched a live tour, an ice tour, an actual stage musical, a book series, a video game, a reality series, and many sequels, both in English and other languages. All of this means money, so much money. There was music, too. —RS