Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
A large crowd of men and women standing on a wooden pier.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ol Parker
Produced by
Screenplay by Ol Parker
Story by
Based on Mamma Mia!
by Catherine Johnson
Starring

Music by Anne Dudley
Cinematography Robert Yeoman
Edited by Peter Lambert
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • July 16, 2018 (2018-07-16) (Hammersmith Apollo)
  • July 20, 2018 (2018-07-20) (United Kingdom & United States)
Running time
114 minutes[3]
Country
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $75 million[4]
Box office $392.5 million[4]

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a 2018 jukebox musical romantic comedy film written and directed by Ol Parker, from a story by Parker, Catherine Johnson, and Richard Curtis. It is a follow-up to the 2008 film Mamma Mia!, which in turn is based on the musical of the same name using the music of ABBA. The film features an ensemble cast, including Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Andy García, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies, Jeremy Irvine, Josh Dylan, Hugh Skinner, Cher, and Meryl Streep. Both a prequel and a sequel, the plot is set after the events of the first film, and also features flashbacks to 1979, telling the story of Donna Sheridan's arrival on the island of Kalokairi and her first meetings with her daughter Sophie's three possible fathers.

Due to the financial success of the first film, Universal Pictures had long been interested in a sequel. The film was officially announced in May 2017, with Parker hired to write and direct. In June 2017, many of the original cast confirmed their involvement, with James being cast in the role of Young Donna that July. Filming took place from August to December 2017 in Croatia, and at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England. A British and American joint venture, the film was co-produced by Playtone, Littlestar Productions and Legendary Entertainment.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again premiered at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on July 16, 2018 and was released in the United Kingdom and the United States on July 20, 2018, ten years to the week of its predecessor's release, in both standard and IMAX formats.[5] The film has been a box office success, grossing over $392 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the performances and musical numbers.[6][7]

Plot[edit]

Sophie Sheridan is preparing for the grand reopening of her mother Donna's hotel, following Donna's death a year earlier. She is upset because two of her fathers, Harry and Bill, are unable to make it to the reopening and she is having trouble in her relationship with Sky, who is in New York, over her memorializing her mother’s life.

In 1979, a young Donna has just graduated from university with Rosie and Tanya, and is getting ready to travel the world. While in Paris, she meets and parties with Harry. They spend the night together, but Donna leaves soon after. She later misses her boat to Kalokairi but is offered a ride by Bill, and along the way, they are able to help a stranded fisherman, Alexio, make it in time to stop the love of his life from marrying another. Unbeknownst to Donna, Harry has followed her to Greece; but he arrived too late, and sadly watches the boat sailing off in the distance.

In the present, Tanya and Rosie arrive to support Sophie with the reopening and it’s revealed that Rosie and Bill have split up. Sophie then visits Sam, who is still grieving over the death of Donna. Back in the past, Donna arrives on the island and while exploring the farmhouse, a sudden storm causes her to discover a spooked horse in the basement. She goes in search of help only to find a young Sam riding his motorcycle and he helps her to save the horse. Back in the present, a storm has caused serious disruption to Sophie’s plans for the grand reopening and prevented media coverage of the event.

Back in the past, Donna and Sam are enjoying a whirlwind romance, that ends when Donna discovers a picture of Sam’s fiancée in his drawer. A devastated Donna demands that Sam leave the island. In the present, Sam tells Sophie about her value to her mother. Meanwhile, Harry leaves his business deal in Tokyo to support Sophie, and separately Bill gets the same idea. Bill and Harry meet at the docks but are told there are no boats. However, Bill meets the fisherman Alexio and thereby secures boat passage for himself, Harry as well as the newly arrived Sky.

In the past, a depressed Donna is heartbroken over Sam but is able to channel her anger into singing with Tanya and Rosie. She meets Bill again and they go out on his boat; while they are gone, Sam returns, having recently ended his engagement for Donna, but is saddened to hear that she is with another man and leaves the island again. Donna discovers she is pregnant but has no idea which one of her three recent lovers is the father. Sofia, the mother of the owner of the bar where Donna and the Dynamos performed, overhears Donna’s wish to stay on the island and offers to let Donna live at her farmhouse and Donna happily accepts. It is there that she eventually gives birth to Sophie.

Back in the present, the guests have arrived at the party and Sophie is reunited with her other two fathers and Sky. Sophie reveals to Sky she is pregnant and has never felt closer to her mother, having now understood what her mother went through. Bill and Rosie reunite over their grief for Donna. Sophie’s estranged grandmother and Donna’s mother, Ruby, arrives despite Sophie deciding not to invite her. She reveals that Sky tracked her down in New York and she wants to build a real relationship with Sophie. Sophie then performs a song with Tanya and Rosie in honor of her mother, with her grandmother tearfully telling her afterward how proud she is of her. It is then revealed that the manager of the hotel, Fernando, is Ruby’s ex-lover from 1959 in Mexico, and the two are joyously reunited.

Nine months later, Sophie has given birth to a baby boy and everyone has gathered for his christening where Tanya flirts with Fernando’s brother. The ceremony takes place with Donna’s spirit watching over her daughter with pride. At the end, all the characters, including Donna and the younger cast, sing "Super Trouper" at a huge party at Hotel Bella Donna.

Cast[edit]

  • Amanda Seyfried as Sophie Sheridan, Donna’s 25-year-old daughter, and Ruby's granddaughter.
  • Meryl Streep as Donna Sheridan-Carmichael, Sophie’s late mother, Ruby's daughter, and Sam's wife.
    • Lily James as Young Donna, founder of Donna and the Dynamos.
  • 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; a fun-loving author in a relationship with Bill.
  • Pierce Brosnan as Sam Carmichael, an architect, Sophie's stepfather/possible father, and Donna's widower.
  • Colin Firth as Harry Bright, Sophie's possible father, a British businessman.
  • Stellan Skarsgård as Bill Anderson, Sophie's possible father, a Swedish sailor and travel writer, Sofia's great-nephew, Lazaros’s cousin, and also as Kurt Anderson, Bill's obese brother.
  • Dominic Cooper as Sky, Sophie’s husband.
  • Cher as Ruby Sheridan, Donna’s mother, Sophie’s grandmother, and Sam's mother-in-law.
  • Andy García as Fernando Cienfuegos, the Mexican manager of the Hotel Bella Donna and an old lover of Ruby’s from 1959.
  • Omid Djalili as a Greek customs officer.
  • Celia Imrie as the Vice-Chancellor of the university at which Donna, Tanya and Rosie studied.
  • Maria Vacratsis as Sofia, a local who owns the shack that Donna stays in, which eventually becomes Donna's home, and Bill's great aunt.
  • Panos Mouzourakis as Lazaros, Sofia's son and Bill’s cousin who owns the bar at which both his band and Donna and the Dynamos perform.
  • Gerard Monaco as Alexio, a local Greek fisherman.
  • Anna Antoniades as Apollonia, Alexio's lover and later wife.

Cameo appearances

Musical numbers[edit]

A soundtrack album was released on July 13, 2018 by Capitol and Polydor Records in the United States and internationally, respectively.[8][9] The album was produced by Benny Andersson, who also served as the album's executive producer alongside Björn Ulvaeus and Judy Craymer. Each song is featured within the film, with the exception of "I Wonder (Departure)" and "The Day Before You Came".

  1. "Thank You for the Music" (Acapella) – Sophie
  2. "When I Kissed the Teacher" – Young Donna and the Dynamos, Vice-Chancellor
  3. "I Wonder (Departure)" – Young Donna and the Dynamos
  4. "One of Us" – Sophie, Sky
  5. "Waterloo" – Young Harry, Young Donna
  6. "SOS" (Acapella) – Sam
  7. "Why Did It Have to Be Me?" – Young Bill, Young Donna, Young Harry
  8. "I Have a Dream" – Young Donna
  9. "Kisses of Fire" – Lazaros (the extended version in the soundtrack also features Young Donna and the Dynamos)
  10. "Andante, Andante" – Young Donna
  11. "The Name of the Game" – Young Donna
  12. "Knowing Me, Knowing You" – Young Donna, Young Sam (the extended version in the soundtrack also features Sam and Sophie)
  13. "Mamma Mia" – Young Donna and the Dynamos
  14. "Angel Eyes" – Rosie, Tanya, Sophie
  15. "Dancing Queen" – Sophie, Rosie, Tanya, Sam, Bill, Harry
  16. "I've Been Waiting for You" – Sophie, Rosie, Tanya
  17. "Fernando" – Ruby, Fernando
  18. "My Love, My Life" – Young Donna, Donna, Sophie
  19. "Super Trouper" – Ruby, Donna, Rosie, Tanya, Sophie, Sky, Sam, Bill, Harry, Fernando, Young Donna, Young Rosie, Young Tanya, Young Bill, Young Sam, Young Harry
  20. "The Day Before You Came" – Donna
  • Songs featured on the soundtrack album but omitted from the film.
  • Songs featured in the film but omitted from the soundtrack album.

Production[edit]

Development[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 many ABBA songs to make use of.[10]

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was announced on May 19, 2017, with a release date of July 20, 2018.[11] It was written and directed by Ol Parker.[12] 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 "Angeleyes."[13] "I Wonder (Departure)" was cut from the film, but is included on the soundtrack album.

Casting[edit]

On June 1, 2017, it was announced that Seyfried would return as Sophie.[14] Later that month, Dominic Cooper confirmed that he would return for the sequel, along with Streep, Firth and Brosnan as Sky, Donna, Harry, and Sam, respectively.[15] In July 2017, Baranski was also confirmed to return as Tanya.[16] On July 12, 2017, Lily James was cast to play the role of young Donna.[17] On August 3, 2017, Jeremy Irvine and Alexa Davies were also cast in the film, with Irvine playing Brosnan's character Sam in a past era, and Hugh Skinner to play Young Harry, Davies as a young Rosie, played by Julie Walters.[18] On August 16, 2017, it was announced that Jessica Keenan Wynn had been cast as a young Tanya, who is played by Baranski.[19] Julie Walters and Stellan Skarsgård also reprised their roles as Rosie and Bill, respectively.[20] On October 16, 2017, it was announced that singer and actress Cher had joined the cast, in her first on-screen film role since 2010,[21] and her first film with Streep since Silkwood. The part was written specifically for Cher, and she got to choose Andy Garcia as her romantic partner.[22]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography on the film began on August 12, 2017 in Croatia, including the island of Vis.[23][24][25][26][23] In October 2017, the cast gathered at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England, to film song and dance numbers with Cher.[21] Filming wrapped on December 2, 2017.[27]

Release[edit]

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was released on July 20, 2018 by Universal Pictures, in the UK, US and other selected countries in both standard and IMAX formats.[28][5] The film premiered on July 16, 2018 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London.[29]

Marketing[edit]

The first trailer for the film was released on December 21, 2017, in front of Pitch Perfect 3, another Universal Pictures film. Cher performed "Fernando" at the Las Vegas CinemaCon on April 25, 2018, after footage of the film was shown.[citation needed] Universal sponsored YouTube stars the Merrell Twins to perform a cover version of the song "Mamma Mia" to promote the film.[30]

Home media[edit]

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was released via digital copy on October 9, 2018 and scheduled for release on DVD/Blu-Ray on October 23, 2018.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of October 11, 2018, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again has grossed $120.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $271.8 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $392.5 million, against a production budget of $75 million.[4]

In June 2018, three weeks prior to its release, official industry tracking had the film debuting to $27–33 million,[31] which increased to as much as $36 million by the week of its release.[32] It made $14.3 million on its first day, including $3.4 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $35 million, finishing second, behind fellow newcomer The Equalizer 2 ($36 million), and besting the opening of the first film ($27.8 million) by over 24%.[30][33] It fell 57% to $15.1 million in its second weekend, finishing second behind newcomer Mission: Impossible – Fallout.[34][35] In its third weekend the film grossed $9 million, dropping to fourth place, and $5.8 million in its fourth weekend, finishing seventh.[36][37]

In the United Kingdom, the film grossed $12.7 million in its opening weekend, topping the box office and achieving the fourth biggest opening for a film in 2018.[38] In its second weekend of international release, the film made $26.6 million (for a running total of $98.6 million). Its largest new markets were France ($1.7 million), Poland ($1.3 million), Switzerland ($223,000) and Croatia ($151,000), while its best holdovers were Australia ($9.5 million), the UK ($8.6 million) and Germany ($8.2 million).[39]

Critical response[edit]

Lily James' performance as Young Donna was praised by critics as a "breakout" role.[40]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 216 reviews, and a weighted average of 6.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again doubles down on just about everything fans loved about the original—and my my, how can fans resist it?"[41] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100 based on 46 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[42] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same score as its predecessor, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 83% overall positive score.[30]

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian termed the sequel as "weirdly irresistible" and gave it three out of five stars. He described his reaction to the first film as "a combination of hives and bubonic plague," but concedes that this time, the relentlessness and greater self-aware comedy made him smile. He concludes: "More enjoyable than I thought. But please. Enough now."[43] Mark Kermode of The Observer gave the film five stars and commented, "This slick sequel delivers sharp one-liners, joyously contrived plot twists and an emotional punch that left our critic reeling."[44]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded the film two and a half stars out of five, noting the absence of Streep for the majority of the film hindered his enjoyment, and saying, "her absence is deeply felt since the three-time Oscar winner sang and danced her heart out as Donna Sheridan".[45] Lindsay Bahr of Associated Press awarded the film three out of four stars, calling it "wholly ridiculous", but complimenting its self-awareness. She also praised James' performance and singing talent.[46] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the sequel a mixed review, awarding it two stars out of four, criticizing the reprises of "Dancing Queen" and "Super Trouper" as uninspired, and feeling that some of the musical numbers dragged the pacing. He considered the younger counterparts to the main characters "energetic" and "likeable."[47] Stephanie Zacharek of Time gave the film a mixed review, writing "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is atrocious. And wonderful. It's all the reasons you should never go to the movies. And all the reasons you should race to get a ticket."[48]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
People's Choice Awards November 11, 2018 The Comedy Movie of 2018 Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Pending [49]
Female Movie Star Lily James Pending
Comedy Movie Star Amanda Seyfried Pending

References[edit]

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External links[edit]