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As 'Frozen 2' Arrives, Here's A Look Back At The Massive Success Of 'Frozen'

November 22, 2019 12:31 pm
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As 'Frozen 2' Arrives, Here's A Look Back At The Massive Success Of 'Frozen'

Back in 2013, Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) struck a goldmine in "Frozen." The franchise became so profitable that animators have since been reluctant to, well, let it go.

The 'Frozen' Effect

"Frozen" won two Academy Awards for best animated feature and best original song. It became the first non-Pixar Disney movie to win the best animated feature at the Golden Globes, and it also seized a BAFTA and two Grammys.

"Frozen" earned industry-wide validation, and the box office didn’t withhold its endorsement. The first film of the franchise earned $400.7 million from domestic moviegoers and $1.3 billion from fans worldwide.

On these earnings, "Frozen" dethroned "Toy Story 3" to become the top grossing animated feature in history, although it has since passed the crown to the 2019 remake of "The Lion King." It's now the ninth highest grossing PG film of all time and the 114th highest adjusted grossing movie of all time.

In the year after its release, Disney recorded $5 billion in Frozen merchandise sales, driving the company’s licensing and publishing revenue up 12%. By some estimates, domestic buyers contributed $403.7 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales.

All in all, not a bad return for a film that’s production cost $150 million.

Continued Appeal Of 'Frozen'

After more than a year of hype, the animation studio releases "Frozen II" on Nov. 22. By now, the kindergartners it had enchanted with the first film are in sixth grade, but they’re not beyond Disney’s assumed demographic.

“There’s a six-year gap [between films], and it’s not like it has transitioned to a new generation. The intended generation grew up,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, told CNBC.

Analysts expect the Disney’s earliest "Frozen" consumers to pack the seats.

“I think a lot of kids are realizing how much nostalgia they have for ‘Frozen,’” Erik Davis, managing editor at Fandango, told CNBC. “It’s the first film for that generation that they can be nostalgic for.”

And it won’t just be middle-schoolers lining up at the box office. Nearly 20% of ticket sales for the original "Frozen" seated non-family moviegoers.

Industry experts expect "Frozen II" to become the studio’s sixth billion-dollar movie of 2019 with an opening weekend earning between $120 million and $140 million.

Related Links:

Disney Sets A Box Office Record 5 Months Early

Analysts Marvel At Disney's Box Office Potential This Year


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