October 31, 2008 at 12:00 PM EDT

Like we’d pick anyone besides the High School Musical 3: Senior Year cast as Winners of the Week? As if! Their film’s $42 million take last weekend set a new record, unlikely to be beaten anytime soon, for the biggest box office opening for a movie musical, like, ever. They’re just as likely to rule the multiplex again this weekend. Their soundtrack album sold 297,000 copies; granted, that’s only half as many as last year’s HSM2 soundtrack, but still enough to debut at No. 2 on this week’s Billboard album chart. As for the six stars themselves, all but one of them has another movie lined up outside the franchise (Monique Coleman, call your agent), as Adam Markovitz reports in the News & Notes section of this week’s EW. Zac Efron has several upcoming films, including, of course, the Footloose remake. Vanessa Hudgens will appear in the comedy Bandslam opposite Lisa Kudrow. Ashley Tisdale has a couple movies, including a musical remake of Teen Witch. Lucas Grabeel has two films, including a small role in next months Oscar contender Milk. And Corbin Bleu co-produced and is starring in the motocross drama Freestyle, due in January. Most important, they’ve launched a vogue in Hollywood for clean-cut, teen-oriented musicals, including those Footloose and Teen Witch remakes and an update of Fame. Can a fourth HSM installment be far behind? (“High School Musical 4: Held Back”!)

So, congrats, Wildcats! We’re sure all PopWatchers salute you… or do they? If you can think of someone who had a better pop culture week than the East High seniors, let us know below. And it’s not to early to nominate a Winner of the Week for next week. (See past winners here.)

More on High School Musical 3: Senior Year:
Box office preview: Can Zack beat Zac?
Box office report: High School Musical 3 rocks the record books
Zac Efron’s day off: EW photo showcase
Movie review: High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Hollywood Insider: AC/DC, HSM3 soundtrack top the album chart

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