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Mamma Mia! (film)

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Title: Mamma Mia! (film)  
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Subject: List of highest-grossing films in the United Kingdom, 35th People's Choice Awards, Mamma Mia! Original Cast Recording, Björn Ulvaeus, List of number-one albums of 2008 (Australia)
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Mamma Mia! (film)

Mamma Mia!
Promotional poster
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd
Produced by Judy Cramer
Gary Goetzman
Screenplay by Catherine Johnson
Based on Mamma Mia! 
by Catherine Johnson
Starring Meryl Streep
Pierce Brosnan
Colin Firth
Stellan Skarsgård
Julie Walters
Dominic Cooper
Amanda Seyfried
Christine Baranski
Music by ABBA
Cinematography Haris Zambarloukos
Edited by Lesley Walker
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • June 30, 2008 (2008-06-30) (United Kingdom)
  • July 18, 2008 (2008-07-18) (United States)
Running time 109 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $52 million
Box office $609,841,637[1]

Mamma Mia! (promoted as Mamma Mia! The Movie) is a 2008 British/American musical/romantic comedy film adapted from the 1999 West End/2001 Broadway musical of the same name, based on the songs of successful pop group ABBA, with additional music composed by ABBA member Benny Andersson. The film was directed by Phyllida Lloyd and distributed by Universal Pictures in partnership with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's Playtone and Littlestar,[2] and the title originates from ABBA's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia". Meryl Streep heads the cast, playing the role of single mother Donna Sheridan. Pierce Brosnan (Sam Carmichael), Colin Firth (Harry Bright), and Stellan Skarsgård (Bill Anderson) play the three possible fathers to Donna's daughter, Sophie, played by Amanda Seyfried.


On a Greek island called Kalokairi, 20-year-old bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan posts three wedding invitations ("I Have a Dream") to different men.

Sophie's bridesmaids and best friends, Ali and Lisa, arrive before the wedding. Sophie reveals that she found her mother's diary and learned she has three possible fathers: New York-based Irish architect Sam Carmichael, Swedish adventurer and writer Bill Anderson, and British banker Harry Bright. She invited them without telling her mother, believing that after she spends time with them she will know who her father is ("Honey, Honey"). Villa owner Donna Sheridan is ecstatic to reunite with her former Dynamos bandmates, wisecracking author Rosie and wealthy multiple divorcée Tanya, and reveals her bafflement at her daughter's desire to get married. Donna shows off the villa and explains her precarious finances to Rosie and Tanya ("Money, Money, Money"). The three men arrive, and Sophie smuggles them to their room and explains that she, not her mother, sent the invitations. She begs them to hide so Donna will have a surprise at the wedding: seeing the old friends of whom she "so often" favourably speaks. They overhear Donna working (humming "Fernando") and swear to Sophie they will not reveal her secret.

Donna spies them and is dumbfounded to find herself facing former lovers she could never forget ("Mamma Mia"), and is adamant that they leave. She confides in Tanya and Rosie ("Chiquitita") a secret she has kept from everyone — she is uncertain which of the men is Sophie's father. Tanya and Rosie rally her spirits by getting Donna to dance with the female staff and islanders ("Dancing Queen"). Sophie finds the men aboard Bill's yacht, and they sail around Kalokairi ("Our Last Summer") and tell stories of Donna as a carefree girl. Sophie musters up the courage to speak with her fiancée Sky about her ploy, but loses her nerve. Sky and Sophie sing to each other ("Lay All Your Love on Me"), but are interrupted when Sky is snatched for his bachelor party.

At Sophie's hen party, Donna, Tanya and Rosie perform as Donna and The Dynamos ("Super Trouper"). Sophie is delighted to see her mother rock out, but becomes nervous when the festivities are interrupted by the arrival of Sam, Bill and Harry. She decides to talk with each of her prospective dads alone. While her girlfriends dance with the men ("Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"), Sophie learns from Bill that Donna received the money to invest in her villa from his great aunt Sofia. Sophie guesses she must be Sofia's namesake and Bill is her father. She asks him to give her away and to keep their secret from Donna until the wedding. Sophie's happiness is short-lived as Sam and Harry each tell her they must be her dad and will give her away ("Voulez-Vous"). Sophie cannot tell them the truth and, overwhelmed by the consequences of her actions, faints.

In the morning, Rosie and Tanya reassure Donna they will take care of the men. On Bill's boat, Bill and Harry are about to confide in each other, but are interrupted by Rosie. Donna confronts Sophie, believing Sophie wants the wedding stopped. Sophie says that all she wants is to avoid her mother's mistakes. Donna is accosted by Sam, concerned about Sophie getting married so young. Donna confronts him and both realize they still have feelings for each other ("SOS"). Down on the beach, Tanya and young Pepper continue their flirtations from the previous night ("Does Your Mother Know"). Sophie confesses to Sky and asks for his help. He reacts angrily to his fiancée's deception and Sophie turns to her mother for support. As Donna helps her daughter dress for the wedding, their rift is healed and Donna reminisces about Sophie's childhood and how quickly she has grown ("Slipping Through My Fingers"). Sophie asks Donna to give her away. As the bridal party walks to the chapel, Sam intercepts Donna, begging her to talk. She reveals the pain she felt over losing him ("The Winner Takes It All").

Sophie and Donna walk down the aisle as the band plays "Knowing Me, Knowing You". Donna tells Sophie that her father could be any of the three men, whom Sophie admits to inviting. Sam reveals that while he left to get married, he did not go through with it, and returned to find Donna with another man. Harry confesses that Donna was the first and last woman he loved, and reveals he has begun a relationship with a waiter from the taverna. The three men agree that they would be happy to be one-third of a father for Sophie. She tells Sky they should postpone their wedding and travel the world as they have wanted. Seeing that there is a chance a wedding can still be done and not wanting any of the wedding preparations to go to waste, Sam proposes to Donna ("I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do"). She accepts and they are married. At the reception, Sam sings to Donna ("When All Is Said and Done"), which prompts Rosie to make a play for Bill ("Take a Chance on Me"). All the couples present proclaim their love ("Mamma Mia" reprise). Sophie and Sky bid farewell to Kalokairi and sail away ("I Have a Dream" reprise).

During the principal credits, Donna, Tanya and Rosie reprise "Dancing Queen", followed by "Waterloo" with the rest of the cast. Amanda Seyfried sings "Thank You for the Music" over the end credits, followed by an instrumental of "Does Your Mother Know".


Cameo appearances and Uncredited Roles
ABBA appeared together with the film's cast in 2008.

Musical numbers

The following songs are included in the film, of which 18 (including a hidden track) are on the soundtrack album, and 3 are excluded:

  1. "I Have a Dream" – Sophie
  2. "Honey, Honey" – Sophie, Ali and Lisa
  3. "Money, Money, Money" – Donna, Tanya, Rosie and Company
  4. "Mamma Mia" – Donna, Sophie, Ali, Lisa and Greek Chorus
  5. "Chiquitita" – Rosie, Tanya and Donna
  6. "Dancing Queen" – Tanya, Rosie, Donna and Company
  7. "Our Last Summer" – Harry, Bill, Sam and Sophie
  8. "Lay All Your Love on Me" – Sky, Sophie, Sky's Bachelor party friends.
  9. "Super Trouper" – Donna, Tanya and Rosie
  10. "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" – Sophie, Donna, Tanya, Rosie, Ali, Lisa and Greek Chorus
  11. "Voulez-Vous" – Donna, Sam, Tanya, Rosie, Harry, Bill, Sky, Ali, Lisa and Pepper
  12. "The Name of the Game" – Sophie (deleted scene)
  13. "SOS" – Sam, Donna and Greek Chorus
  14. "Does Your Mother Know" – Tanya, Pepper, Lisa, Guys and Girls
  15. "Slipping Through My Fingers" – Donna and Sophie
  16. "The Winner Takes It All" – Donna
  17. "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" – Sam, Donna and Company
  18. "When All Is Said and Done" – Sam, Donna and Company
  19. "Take a Chance on Me" – Rosie, Bill, Tanya, Pepper, Harry and Company
  20. "Mamma Mia!" (Reprise) – Company
  21. "I Have a Dream" (Reprise) – Sophie
  22. "Dancing Queen" (Reprise) – Donna, Rosie and Tanya
  23. "Waterloo" – Donna, Rosie, Tanya, Sam, Bill, Harry, Sky and Sophie
  24. "Thank You for the Music" – Sophie


The Agios Ioannis chapel during filming of the wedding scene for Mamma Mia!.

Most of the outdoor scenes were filmed on location at the small Greek island of Skopelos (during August/September 2007),[5] and the seaside hamlet of Damouchari in the Pelion area of Greece. On Skopelos, Kastani beach on the south west coast was the film's main location site.[5] The producers built a beach bar and jetty along the beach, but removed both set pieces after production wrapped.[5] A complete set for Donna's Greek villa was built at the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios and most of the film was shot there. Real trees were utilised for the set, watered daily through an automated watering system and given access to daylight in order to keep them growing.

The part of the film where Brosnan's character, Sam, leaves his New York office to go to the Greek Island was actually filmed at the iconic Lloyd's Building on Lime Street in the City of London. He dashes down the escalators and through the porte-cochere, where yellow cabs and actors representing New York mounted police were used for authenticity.[6]

Movie was filmed in the Greek island of Skopelos

The Fernando, Bill Anderson's yacht (actually a ketch) in the film was the Tai-Mo-Shan built in 1934 by H. S. Rouse at the Hong Kong and Whampoa dockyards.[7][8]

Meryl Streep had taken opera singing lessons as a child, and as an adult, she had previously sung in several films, including Postcards from the Edge, Silkwood, Death Becomes Her, and A Prairie Home Companion.[9] She had been a fan of the stage show Mamma Mia! since seeing it on Broadway in September 2001, when she had found the show an affirmation of life in the midst of the destruction of 9/11. [10]


Though the world premiere of the film occurred elsewhere, most of the media attention was focused on the Swedish premiere, where Stockholm, owned by Andersson, on July 4, 2008. It was the first time all four members of ABBA had been photographed together since 1986.[11]


Mamma Mia! received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 54% of critics gave the film positive reviews based upon a sample of 175 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10.[12] The Times gave it four stars out of five,[13] as did Channel 4 which said it had "all the swing and sparkle of sequined bell-bottoms."[14] BBC Radio 5 Live's film critic Mark Kermode admitted to enjoying the film, despite describing the experience as 'the closest you get to see A-List actors doing drunken karaoke'.[15] The Guardian was more negative, giving it one star, stating that the film gave the reviewer a "need to vomit",[16] while Bob Chipman of Escape to the Movies said it was "so base, so shallow and so hinged on meaningless spectacle, it's amazing it wasn't made for men".[17] The Daily Telegraph stated that it was enjoyable but poorly put together ("Finding the film a total shambles was sort of a shame, but I have a sneaking suspicion I'll go to see it again anyway."),[18] whereas Empire said it was "cute, clean, camp fun, full of sunshine and toe tappers."[19]

The casting of actors not noted for their singing abilities led to some mixed reviews. Variety stated that "some stars, especially the bouncy and rejuvenated Streep, seem better suited for musical comedy than others, including Brosnan and Skarsgård."[20] Brosnan, especially, was savaged by many critics: his singing was compared to "a water buffalo" (New York Magazine),[21] "a donkey braying" (The Philadelphia Inquirer)[22] and "a wounded raccoon" (The Miami Herald),[23] and Matt Brunson of Creative Loafing Charlotte said he "looks physically pained choking out the lyrics, as if he's being subjected to a prostate exam just outside of the camera's eye."[24]

Box office

As of April 6, 2009, Mamma Mia! has grossed a worldwide total of $602,609,487 and is the fifth highest-grossing film of 2008.[1] It eventually became the highest grossing musical of all-time in terms of worldwide gross. It is the third highest-grossing film of 2008 internationally (i.e., outside North America) with an international total of $458,479,424 and the thirteenth highest gross of 2008 in North America (the US and Canada) with $144,130,063.

In the United Kingdom, Mamma Mia! has grossed £69,166,087 as of January 23, 2009, and is the sixth highest grossing film of all time at the UK box office (behind Skyfall, Avatar, Titanic, Toy Story 3, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2).[25] The film opened at #1 in the U.K, taking £6,594,058 on 496 screens. It managed to hold onto the top spot for 2 weeks, narrowly keeping Pixar's WALL-E from reaching #1 in its second week.

When released on July 3 in Greece, the film grossed $1,602,646 in its opening weekend, ranking #1 at the Greek box office.[26]

The film made $9,627,000 in its opening day in the United States and Canada, and $27,605,376 in its opening weekend, ranking #2 at the box office, behind The Dark Knight.[27] At the time, it made Mamma Mia! the record-holder for the highest grossing opening weekend for a movie musical, surpassing Hairspray's box office record in 2007.

Awards and nominations

  • BAFTA Awards[29]
    • Outstanding British Film—nominated
    • The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer for their First Feature Film (Judy Craymer)—nominated
    • Outstanding Music (Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus)—nominated


Because of the film's financial success, Hollywood studio chief David Linde, the co-chairman of Universal Studios told The Daily Mail that it would take a while, but there could be a sequel. He stated that he would be delighted if Judy Craymer, Catherine Johnson, Phyllida Lloyd, Benny Andersson, and Björn Ulvaeus agreed to the project, noting that there are still plenty of ABBA songs to use.[31]

Home media

In November 2008, Mamma Mia! became the fastest-selling DVD of all time in the UK, according to Official UK Charts Company figures. It sold 1,669,084 copies on its first day of release, breaking the previous record (held by Titanic) by 560,000 copies. By the end of 2008, The Official UK Charts Company declared it had become the biggest selling DVD ever in the UK, with one in every four households owning a copy (over 5 million copies sold).[32] The record was previously held by Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl with sales of 4.7 million copies.

In the United States the DVD made over $30 million on its first day of release.[33]

By December 31, 2008, Mamma Mia! had become the best-selling DVD of all time in Sweden with 545,000 copies sold.[34]

Single-disc features

The single-disc DVD released in Sweden on 26 November contains all of the following:

2-disc special edition

The widescreen single-disc includes a bonus disc which includes:

  • Limited time only digital copy
  • Deleted scenes and outtakes
  • The Making of Mamma Mia! featurette
  • Anatomy of a Musical Number: "Lay All Your Love on Me"
  • Becoming a Singer featurette
  • Behind the scenes with Amanda
  • On Location in Greece featurette
  • A Look Inside Mamma Mia! featurette
  • "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" music video
  • Björn Ulvaeus cameo
Blu-ray exclusives
  • Universal Pictures' U-Control[35]
  • Behind the Hits (details and trivia of the music while the musical performance plays)
  • Picture-in-picture (access to cast and crew interviews and behind the scene while the movie plays)


  1. ^ a b "Mamma Mia! (2008)".  
  2. ^ "Mamma Mia! (2008) – Company Credits".  
  3. ^ "Amanda Seyfried". Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  4. ^ BBC Staff (2007-03-07). "Brosnan set for Abba show movie". BBC. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  5. ^ a b c Mansfield, Paul (2008-07-15). "Mamma Mia! – Unfazed by the fuss in Skopelos". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ description of London locations, accessed 28 August 2009.
  7. ^ "45’ Teak Ketch 1933. Yacht for sale from classic yacht broker in Poole". Sandeman Yacht brokerage Poole. Sandeman Yacht Company. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  8. ^ "Tai-Mo-Shan". Coburg Yacht Brokers website. Coburg Yacht Brokers. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  9. ^ Hiscock, John (2008-07-04). "Meryl Streep the singing and dancing queen". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  10. ^ Meryl Streep, speaking on 'Abba:The Mamma Mia Story', ITV
  11. ^ Sandra Wejbro (2008-07-04). "ABBA återförenades på röda mattan (Swedish)". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  12. ^ "Mamma Mia! Reviews".  
  13. ^ Times Online
  14. ^ Channel 4 review
  15. ^ BBC 5 Live Kermode and Mayo Film Review on YouTube
  16. ^ Guardian Review
  17. ^ Video on YouTube
  18. ^ Telegraph review
  19. ^ Empire review
  20. ^ Variety Review
  21. ^ New York Magazine, New York Movies
  22. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer Movie Review, July 18, 2008
  23. ^ Miami Herald Movies, July 18, 2008
  24. ^ Charlotte Film Reviews, July 23, 2008
  25. ^ "UK all time top grossing films". Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  26. ^ "Greece Box Office Index".  
  27. ^ "Box Office Mojo".  
  28. ^ The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2009)
  29. ^ 2009 BAFTA Film Awards
  30. ^  
  31. ^ Baz Bamigboye (2008-10-17). "Baz Bamigboye on a possible Mamma Mia sequel, Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio and much more". Mail Online. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  32. ^ Hollywood Reporter – Mamma Mia now biggest selling DVD in UK history
  33. ^ MAMMA MIA! DVD Takes In 30 Million In First Day Of Sales
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Updated: Mamma Mia! Offers a Blu-ray First, Details Announced | HDR TheHDRoom". 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 

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