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Les Mis and the future of movie musicals:

General view of the atmosphere at the
General view of the atmosphere at the "Les Miserables" New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 10, 2012 in New York City.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

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The highly anticipated musical-cum-movie Les Miserables opened yesterday, breaking box office records for the highest advance ticket sales for a Christmas day release and taking in $18 million in one day, according to But that apparent enthusiasm has been dampened by reviews like this one from Gawker, which referred to it as “banal schmaltz” and “a nonsensical, emotional vampire of a movie.” Some people will just never like musicals, but is that just generational? Whatever happened to the crooning days of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire? Are they never to return? Are modern audiences beyond reach when it comes to musical movies?


Wade Major, film critic for KPCC and