The madness began a little over a year ago with a TV movie on the Disney Channel. "High School Musical" is now a $500 million franchise.
TV movies rarely trigger this kind of frenzy, but "High School Musical" is more than a movie it's a phenomenon. The stars went on an arena concert tour and released the best-selling album of 2006. It has charged the lives of the young performers forever.
"I'm filming 'Major Movie Star' in Shreveport, La., co-starring with Jessica Simpson," star Olesya Rulin told The Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman.
"High School Musical" stars cute teens singing catchy tunes and romanticizes high school. And now the stars are becoming true Hollywood heavyweights. In this week's issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Zac Efron graces the cover with the headline, "The New American Heartthrob." But Efron, who also stars in "Hairspray," says he doesn't feel like a one.
"That's what it says pretty crazy," he said.
Their rise to stardom has been so fast that there are still a few who don't have a clue.
"I did get offered to work at the ice cream store down the street that I always go to," star Vanessa Hudgens said.
She didn't take the job, but was flattered by the offer.
In the sequel, the lovable teens are now on summer break, working at a country club. There's plenty of singing and dancing, but the producers try to keep it clean when it comes to romance.
"Oh, I don't know if they'll be some real kisses," star Lucas Grabeel said. "We put a real kiss in the original movie and they cut it out. Who knows what they're going to do with the sequel."
"High School Musical 2" premieres Friday on Disney Channel.