Mamma Mia! (film series)

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Mamma Mia!
Mamma Mia! Logo.png
Directed byPhyllida Lloyd (1)
Ol Parker (2)
Produced by
Screenplay byCatherine Johnson (1)
Ol Parker (2)
Story byCatherine Johnson (2)
Richard Curtis (2)
Ol Parker (2)
Based onMamma Mia!
by Catherine Johnson
Music by
CinematographyHaris Zambarloukos (1)
Robert Yeoman (2)
Edited byLesley Walker (1)
Peter Lambert (2)
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
First film:
  • June 30, 2008 (2008-06-30) (Leicester Square)
  • July 10, 2008 (2008-07-10) (United Kingdom)
  • July 17, 2008 (2008-07-17) (Germany)
  • July 18, 2008 (2008-07-18) (United States)
Running time
109 minutes (1) 114 minutes (2)
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • United States[1]
Budget$127 million (1-2)
Box office$1 billion (1-2)

Mamma Mia! and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again are an American musical film series based on the 1999 musical of the same name, based on the songs of successful pop group ABBA, with additional music composed by ABBA member Benny Andersson. An international co-production between Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the first two films were directed by Phyllida Lloyd and Ol Parker, respectively, distributed by Universal Pictures in partnership with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's Playtone and Littlestar, and the title originates from ABBA's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia". Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried play the lead roles of single mother Donna Sheridan and her daughter Sophie respectively. Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgård play the three possible fathers to Sophie.

Main cast[edit]

  • Amanda Seyfried as Sophie Sheridan, Donna's 25-year-old daughter, Ruby’s granddaughter, Sam's stepdaughter/possible daughter, possible daughter to Bill and Harry, and Sky's wife.
  • Meryl Streep as Donna Sheridan-Carmichael, Sophie's late mother, Ruby’s daughter, Sky's mother-in-law, Sam's wife, owner of the Hotel Bella Donna
  • Christine Baranski as Tanya Chesham-Leigh, one of Donna's best friends and former bandmates in Donna and the Dynamos; a rich three-time divorcee
  • Julie Walters as Rosie Mulligan, one of Donna's best friends and former bandmates in Donna and the Dynamos; an unmarried fun-loving author
  • Pierce Brosnan as Sam Carmichael, Sophie's stepfather/possible father, Sky's stepfather-in-law/possible father-in-law, an Irish-American architect, Ruby's son-in-law, and Donna's widower
  • Colin Firth as Harry Bright, Sophie's possible father, Sky's possible father-in-law, and a British banker.
  • Stellan Skarsgård as Bill Anderson, Sophie's possible father, Sky's possible father-in-law, a Swedish sailor and travel writer, and Kurt Anderson, Bill's obese twin brother.
  • Dominic Cooper as Sky, Sophie's husband, Donna's son-in-law, Sam's stepson-in-law/possible son-in-law, and possible son-in-law to Bill and Harry.
  • Cher as Ruby Sheridan, Donna's mother, Sophie's grandmother, and Sam's mother-in-law.
  • Andy García as Fernando Cienfuegos, Ruby's ex-lover, manager of the Hotel Bella Donna.

Supporting cast[edit]

Mamma Mia![edit]

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again[edit]

Cameo appearances and uncredited roles in the first film[edit]

Cameo appearances and uncredited roles in the second film[edit]


ABBA and the film ensemble at the Swedish premiere of Mamma Mia!, July 4, 2008.

Mamma Mia![edit]

Though the world premiere of the film occurred elsewhere, most of the media attention was focused on the Swedish premiere, where Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog joined Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson with the cast at the Rival Theatre in Mariatorget, Stockholm, owned by Andersson, on July 4, 2008. It was the first time all four members of ABBA had been photographed together since 1986.[2]

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again[edit]

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was released on July 20, 2018 by Universal Pictures in the UK, USA and other selected countries.[3]


The first trailer for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was released on December 21, 2017 in front of Pitch Perfect 3, another film distributed by Universal Pictures.[citation needed] Cher performed Fernando at the Las Vegas CinemaCon on April 25, 2018 after footage of the film was shown.

Box office projections[edit]

In May 2018, BoxOffice Magazine projected the film to gross $25–35 million in its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, and a final domestic total of around $105 million.[4]


Pierce Brosnan's singing was heavily panned by critics

On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 54% based on 179 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "This jukebox musical is full of fluffy fun but rough singing voices and a campy tone might not make you feel like 'You Can Dance' the whole 90 minutes."[5] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.

The Times gave it four stars out of five,[7] as did Channel 4 (Britain) which said it had "all the swing and sparkle of sequined bell-bottoms."[8] 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'.[9] The Guardian was more negative, giving it one star, stating that the film gave the reviewer a "need to vomit",[10] 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".[11] 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."),[12] whereas Empire said it was "cute, clean, camp fun, full of sunshine and toe tappers."[13]

The casting of actors not known 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."[14] Brosnan, especially, was savaged by many critics: his singing was compared to "a water buffalo" (New York Magazine),[15] "a donkey braying" (The Philadelphia Inquirer)[16] and "a wounded raccoon" (The Miami Herald),[17] 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."[18]

Box office[edit]

Mamma Mia! grossed $144.1 million in the United States and $471.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $615.7 million, against a production budget of $52 million.[19] It became the highest grossing live-action musical of all time, until it was surpassed by Bill Condon's Beauty and the Beast in 2017. It was also the highest-grossing movie directed by a woman, until it was surpassed by Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman in 2017.[20] It is the third highest-grossing film of 2008 internationally (i.e., outside North America) with an international total of $458.4 million and the thirteenth highest gross of 2008 in North America (the US and Canada) with $144.1 million.

In the United Kingdom, Mamma Mia! has grossed £69.2 million as of January 23, 2009, and is the ninth highest-grossing film of all time at the UK box office.[21] The film opened at #1 in the U.K, taking £6.6 million 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.[citation needed]

When released on July 3 in Greece, the film grossed $1.6 million in its opening weekend, ranking #1 at the Greek box office.[22]

The film made $9.6 million in its opening day in the United States and Canada, and $27.6 million in its opening weekend, ranking #2 at the box office, behind The Dark Knight.[23] At the time, it made Mamma Mia! the record-holder for the highest grossing opening weekend for a movie based on a Broadway musical, surpassing Hairspray's box office record in 2007 and later surpassed by Into the Woods.[24]

Box office performance[edit]

Film North America
release date
Budget Box office gross
North America Other territories Worldwide
Mamma Mia! July 18, 2008 $52 million $144,100,000 $465,600,000 $615,700,000
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again July 20, 2018 $75 million $120,600,000 $274,100,000 $394,800,000
Total $127 million $264,700,000 $743,000,000 $1,008,800,000


Mamma Mia![edit]

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),[25] 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.[25] The producers built a beach bar and jetty along the beach, but removed both set pieces after production wrapped.[25] 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 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.[26]

The 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.[27][28]

Meryl Streep took opera singing lessons as a child, and as an adult, she previously sang in several films, including Postcards from the Edge, Silkwood, Death Becomes Her, and A Prairie Home Companion.[29] She was a fan of the stage show Mamma Mia! after seeing it on Broadway in September 2001, when she found the show to be an affirmation of life in the midst of the destruction of 9/11.[30]

Development of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again[edit]

Due to Mamma Mia!'s financial success, Hollywood studio chief David Linde, co-chairman of Universal Pictures 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]

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was announced on May 19, 2017, with a planned release date of July 20, 2018.[32] It will be written and directed by Ol Parker.[33] On September 27, 2017, Benny Andersson confirmed 3 ABBA songs that would be featured in the film: "When I Kissed the Teacher," "I Wonder (Departure)," and "Angel Eyes."[34]


On June 1, 2017, it was announced that Seyfried would be returning as Sophie.[35] Later that month, Dominic Cooper confirmed in an interview that he would be returning for the sequel along with Streep, Firth and Brosnan as Sky, Donna, Harry and Sam, respectively.[36] In July 2017, Baranski was confirmed to return as Tanya in the film.[37] On July 12, 2017, Lily James was cast in the film to play the role of "Young Donna."[38] On August 3, 2017, Jeremy Irvine and Alexa Davies were cast in the film with Irvine set to play Brosnan's character Sam in a past era, and Davies would play the role of a young Rosie, played by Julie Walters in the first film.[39] On August 16, 2017, it was announced that Jessica Keenan Wynn (Heather Chandler in the original Off-Broadway cast of Heathers: The Musical) had been cast as a young Tanya, who was played by Baranski in the first film.[40] Julie Walters and Stellan Skarsgård would also reprise their roles as Rosie and Bill, respectively.[41] On October 16, 2017, it was revealed that American singer/actress Cher had joined the cast in her first on-screen film role since 2010,[42] and her first film with Streep since Silkwood, as Ruby Sheridan, Donna's mother.


Principal photography on the film began on August 12, 2017 in Croatia, including the island of Vis.[43][44][45][46][43] The cast gathered in October 2017, at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England, to film some song and dance numbers with Cher.[42] Filming wrapped on December 2, 2017.[47]


  1. ^ "Mamma Mia! (2008) | BFI". British Film Institute. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  2. ^ Sandra Wejbro (2008-07-04). "ABBA återförenades på röda mattan (Swedish)". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  3. ^ "'Mamma Mia!' Film Sequel Gets July 2018 Release Date". US News. May 19, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  4. ^ Robbins, Shawn (April 25, 2018). "Long Range Tracking: 'Incredibles 2' Builds Momentum; Early 'Equalizer 2' & 'Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!' Tracking". BoxOffice. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Mamma Mia! Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "Mama Mia reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
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  8. ^ "Film4 - Film4". 2016-12-14. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
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  14. ^ Jordan Mintzer (2008-07-05). "Mamma Mia!". Variety. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  15. ^ "The Dark Knight - Mamma Mia! - The Exiles - New York Magazine Movie Review". 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  16. ^ Rickey, Carrie (2008-07-17). "'Mamma Mia,' here we go again - this time on screen". Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  17. ^ Rodriguez, Rene. "Mamma Mia! (PG-13) **½ | Singing! And dancing! Not much of a story! Who cares!?! |". Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  18. ^ Brunson, Matt (2008-07-23). "Out of tune | Reviews | Creative Loafing Charlotte". Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  19. ^ "Mamma Mia! (2008)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  20. ^ Williams, Trey (2017-06-24). "'Wonder Woman' passes 'Mamma Mia!' as highest-grossing film by female director". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
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  28. ^ "Tai-Mo-Shan". Coburg Yacht Brokers website. Coburg Yacht Brokers. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
  29. ^ Hiscock, John (2008-07-04). "Meryl Streep the singing and dancing queen". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  30. ^ Meryl Streep, speaking on 'Abba:The Mamma Mia Story', ITV
  31. ^ Baz Bamigboye (2008-10-17). "Baz Bamigboye on a possible Mamma Mia sequel, Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio and much more". Mail Online. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
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  36. ^ Zach Seemayer (June 22, 2017). "EXCLUSIVE: Dominic Cooper Dishes on Returning for 'Mamma Mia 2': It's 'a Phone Call I've Been Waiting For'". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
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