According to the cast, the elaborate dance competition sequence was far more physically demanding than expected. During the scene, Johnny Casino and the Gamblers performed classics like “Rock and Roll are Here to Stay,” “Hound Dog,” and “Born to Hand Jive,” while Rydell teachers and administrators sorted through tons of pairs to finally pick their winner Find .
Perhaps the most intense factor for the actors was the heat in the real high school gym where the scene was shot, as Didi Conn interviewed Entertainment Tonight ahead of a special sing-along screening of Grease at the Year 2020 remembered.” John [Travolta] said that the pain ratio for numbers definitely [happened with] the dance competition in the gym…” said Conn. “Oh god, it was so hot. What did people think?”
“It was really hot in that gym,” recalled John Travolta for ET, while Olivia Newton-John added, “But we really had a lot of fun the whole movie. For me it was like going to high school. I never went to high school like that.”
According to Smithsonian Magazine, it took five days to film the dance competition scene during a California heatwave. To make matters worse, the gym where the scene was filmed, at Huntington Park High School in Los Angeles, didn’t have air conditioning – adding to the heat and smells around the cast and crew. “It was so, so hot and there was a slaughterhouse nearby – a slaughterhouse – and the sweat and the smell mixed together,” Newton-John told Smithsonian Magazine with a laugh.
According to Box Office Mojo, “Grease” grossed $396 million at the worldwide box office. The film’s domestic balance sheet – $190 million – $705.3 million in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation – places it at number 28 on the release list of all-time highest-grossing films in North America.