MAMMA MIA – LILY JAMES/KEENAN WYNN/DAVIES | There is, after all, not much else that they can do, given that the juke-box musical format …

Such was the case when “Mamma Mia!” grossed $609 million worldwide a decade ago, and the same is true with “Here We Go Again,” as it hits $280 million worldwide against a $75 million budget.

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The Mamma Mia! sequel has achieved a UK opening of £9.74m, the fourth biggest of the year so far after Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Black Panther. The sum compares with a debut of £5.21m, or £6.59m including previews, for the original Mamma Mia! in July 2008, when tickets were significantly cheaper. That film went on to become a word-of-mouth hit, eventually earning £68m – 13 times the opening weekend’s figures.

Craymer and director/screenwriter Ol Parker have done just that a decade after the original movie with “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” (in theaters Friday). The second chapter reunites Streep with Donna’s best friends from the first film, Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters), as well as her former lovers Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Harry (Colin Firth) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgard).

Five years after the events of the first film, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is coping indifferently with the death of her mom Donna (Meryl Streep). While she plans a party in the Greek Villa she now runs – to which all the key cast members will travel – we shift back to learn the origins of the sexual odyssey that triggered the earlier film’s paternal confusion.

This many lovelorn ABBA songs requires quite a story into which to shoehorn the tunes, and “Mamma Mia!” tripled down on love lost and found with three spurned lovers, Bill (Stellan Skarsgård), Sam (Pierce Brosnan) and Harry (Colin Firth), returning to Kalokairi for the wedding of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), who hoped to find her father. Now, she’s accepted all three men as adopted dads, and she’s reopening the hotel after her mother’s death (yep, there’s almost no Meryl Streep here). While she gives tours to visitors around the property, she reminisces about her mother’s journey to the island, right out of Oxford. We get the part of the story previously only detailed in a journal, of young hippie Donna (Lily James) and her three wayward lovers.

[Verse 1: Lily James]
I was cheated by you
And I think you know when
So I made up my mind
It must come to an end

[Pre-Chorus 1: Lily James]
Look at me now, will I ever learn?
I don’t know how
But I suddenly lose control
There’s a fire within my soul
Just one look
And I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything, w-o-o-o-o-h

[Chorus: Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn & Alexa Davies]
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist ya?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I’ve missed ya
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, now I really know
My my, I should not have let you go

[Verse 2: Lily James]
I was angry and sad
‘Bout the things that you do
I can’t count all the times that I cried over you

[Pre-Chorus 2: Lily James]
And when you go
When you slam the door
I think you know
That you won’t be away too long
You know that I’m not that strong
Just one look
And I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything, w-o-o-o-oh

 

 

[Chorus: Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn & Alexa Davies]
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist ya?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I’ve missed ya
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia
Now I really know
My, my, I should not have let you go

 


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