Thirty years ago, the heavens opened up and rained $231.6 million on Sister Act.
Made for only a reported $31 million, the comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg as a Reno lounge singer who hides out in a convent after witnessing her mob boss boyfriend commit murder was the sleeper hit of the summer in 1992. It ended up the sixth-biggest movie of the year worldwide and No. 3 domestically, behind only Batman Returns and Lethal Weapon 3.
And sure, the combination of Goldberg's comedic timing, the cheery nun squad, infectious music and fish-out-of-water premise seems like a slam-dunk now.
Yet back in the day, Hollywood wasn't exactly in the, er, habit of filling the multiplex with majority-female ensembles. (The next-highest grosser for the year worldwide was literally A Few Good Men—though A League of Their Own did round out the top 10. Good for you, 1992!).
Goldberg, however, fresh off her Oscar win for Ghost, had serious clout and she was instrumental in both charting Sister Act's course and keeping it afloat along with director Emile Ardolino.
"It's fun and it feels good," Goldberg described the film in 2020, reflecting on the experience on The Late Late Show With James Corden. "And you know, nobody's mad. It's just, listen—bad singing, great singing, OK singing and then nuns. What's better than that?"
But though the finished product was a crowd-pleaser, a fair amount of drama went into the making of the Golden Globe-nominated comedy.
Read on for the secrets of how Sister Act came together after almost falling apart:
While Sister Act 3 has been perennially talked about as a possibility, in 2020 it became more than just a gleam in fans' eyes.
"We are trying to get all of the pieces put together. The business crap," Goldberg told Elle.com that December. "You know how it is. So let us get that together and then after that, we're writing a script. I'm trying to let everybody do what they're supposed to do. Because otherwise, it's all the actors just coming to me saying, 'Can we do it now? Can we improvise it without a script?'
"And I'm like, just let us get the business pieces together! So it's happening. It's going to happen. Stay excited."
Later that month, Disney+ announced the movie was a go, with Tyler Perry as a producer, Tim Federle directing and Madhuri Shekar writing the script. And so far...
"Whoopi's really excited, Perry told The Hollywood Reporter in October. "I think that this is just what the country needs. We need that feel-good moment in the movies where you go, 'Oh, my God, I left there singing.' That's my hope."
And now perhaps all those prayers have been answered.
In April, per DisneyPlusInformer, Federle said while out doing press for Disney+'s Better Nate Than Ever, "I hope we are starting this year. I think the Sister Act franchise is a big priority to the studio, script's coming along and I think Whoopi is really excited."
Yes, you may get an amen.