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Frozen 2 heats up box office with $350m

China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-26 07:38

A scene from Frozen 2. CHINA DAILY

NEW YORK — Six years after animated movie Frozen kicked up a pop-culture blizzard, the sequel to the adventures of Elsa, Anna and Olaf snowed in the box office, drawing an estimated $127 million in the United States and $350.2 million worldwide, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

The opening for the Walt Disney Co's Frozen 2 buried several records. It's the highest-grossing debut ever for any animated film globally. It marks a new high in the US and Canada for an animated movie released outside of the summer season. And it's the largest opening for any Walt Disney Animation Studios release.

In China, it also is a hit, as it continued to lead the Chinese mainland box office on Sunday, according to the China Movie Data Information Network on Monday. The film grossed 131 million yuan ($18.61 million) on its third day of screening, accounting for about 66 percent of the daily box office revenues.

In the new animated musical fantasy film, characters Anna and Elsa travel to an ancient enchanted forest to find the origin of Elsa's powers in order to save their kingdom.

Disney chose the week ahead of Thanksgiving holiday to open Frozen 2, so likely it will get a significant second week bump from children out of school this week. The first Frozen movie opened over Thanksgiving in 2013, earning $93 million in five days and $67 million for the following three-day weekend.

Frozen quickly grew into a sensation, remaining in the top 10 at the box office for 17 weeks and ultimately grossing $1.27 billion. Propelled in part by the hit song Let it Go, the film begot a flurry of merchandising, untold numbers of Elsa dresses and a Broadway musical. It won two Academy Awards: best animated feature and original song.

Matching that total gross won't be easy sledding, but Frozen 2 has a head start. Cathleen Taff, distribution chief for Disney, granted there's a "high bar" set by Frozen, but she's confident of the film's enormous appeal.

"We can't open to a number this big without everybody coming out to see it," said Taff. "We're looking forward to a good run through the holidays given kids are going to start getting out of school this next week."

Reviews and audience reaction have been good for Frozen 2, but not as strong as they were for the original. The CinemaScore was A-for Frozen 2, whereas Frozen yielded an A+. Critics were also a little less taken with the sequel: 75 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 90 percent for the original.

But scores were still very high, including a 93 percent rating by viewers on the Rotten Tomatoes website. At 59 percent, audiences were largely female but not extremely so. And audiences came out in larger numbers than analysts had forecast, especially for overseas markets.


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