THE MUSIC GENRE
For most of us, music (like sport) is a part of our everyday lives. With various streaming services and platforms we can listen to any song, artist or album at the touch of a little screen. But this doesn't necessarily mean that it translates all that well to the big screen. Music movies tend to fall into a narrow band of categories. There are documentaries, movies, and musicals or the odd drama about a particular musician but they can't really be called music movies.
Even when we take a look at the various music documentaries that are currently available to watch, their success depends on the popularity of the artist being featured. Over the last few years, Netflix has come out with some big hitters in the form of documentaries from Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, and Lady Gaga.
While over on Amazon Prime, Pink has just released her latest documentary – All I Know So Far. Even Disney has gotten in on the action with Peter Jackson's epic documentary, Get Back, about The Beatles. But if you don't happen to like that genre of music, you may opt for more general music shows such as Song Exploder which feature a range of artists focusing on the creation of just one of their hit songs.
On the movie front, The Lion King is one of the biggest music-based movies of all time. The 2019 Disney live-action remake grossed $1.6billion at the box office. Hot on its heels is Beauty and the Beast (2017) also from Disney. That production grossed a nifty $1.3billion around the world. But really, when Disney can spend unlimited money on production on marketing, it's not really a surprise that their movies make so much money.
What is refreshing though is the fact that others have recently emerged from the shadows against all odds. La La Land (2016) was a huge hit as was The Greatest Showman (2017) which grossed $438 million against its budget of $84 million. Incidentally, both featured songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. For Hugh Jackman, it was his musical follow-up on the back of the success of Les Miserables (2012).
AMAZON PRIME MUSIC
DISNEY MUSIC FILMS
APPLE TV MUSIC FILMS
PARAMOUNT MUSIC FILMS
CLASSIC MUSIC FILMS
In terms of Musicals, there have been some huge hits over the years. More than 2.6 million people have seen Hamilton on Broadway, across more than 2,000 performances, and with the show now on in London and the production going on tour, those numbers are just going through the roof. So it didn't come as any surprise when Lin Manuel Miranda decided to air it on Disney+.
It debuted on the streaming platform in July 2020 and according to Variety, viewers made up the largest audience for a single show within one month. It surpassed the viewing figures for any other show across Disney Plus, Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and Apple TV Plus. It is one of the few Broadway musicals to be shown in its original format. For most others, it's the adaption into movies that tend to hit the likes of Netflix. But with the success of Hamilton and on the back of a devasting year for theatres, it could definitely be an option for a lot of productions in the future.
In terms of Music shows – I can't really go any further without mentioning High School Musical. Since its first movie in 2006, it has spawned a worldwide franchise that now includes a brand new Disney Original show aimed at the teen market. And of course it launched the career of Zac Efron!
But the reality is that there are few music drama tv shows. The movies are being churned out in abundance but shows are pretty thin on the ground. Maybe there are only so much happy singing and dancing characters that we can take!
RECENT MUSIC REVIEWS
Here you can view our latest Music movies and series reviews from major streaming services.
MUSIC HIDDEN GEMS
Here you can view hidden gems which you may have missed on original release.