‘Frozen II’ sets records with its box-office bow

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From left, Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff returned for the sequel “Frozen II.” [Disney photo]

“Frozen II,” Disney’s animated sequel to the 2013 commercial and critical smash, brought in an estimated $127 million in North America over the weekend.

Although it fell short of the record for the biggest domestic opening for an animated film set by 2018’s “Incredibles 2” — another Disney sequel from its Pixar animation division — that’s the highest-grossing debut ever for Walt Disney Animation Studios, which has been producing films since 1937.

According to CNN, the sequel also made more than the opening of the original fairy-tale film, which brought in $93 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday in 2013.

The first “Frozen reigned as the highest-grossing animated film in history as well as the highest grossing musical film before it was overtaken this year by Disney’s CGI remake of “The Lion King.” It was also the highest-earning film with a female director on the domestic box-office books, until it was overtaken by “Wonder Woman” (which was surpassed this year by “Captain Marvel”).

“Frozen II” exceeded industry expectations that projected the sequel would make $100 million over the  weekend. It also set the record for biggest global opening for an animated film ever, hauling in $350 million worldwide.

As I noted in my review, “Frozen” was big for reasons other than its record-setting box office, and thankfully, the long-awaited sequel continues to chip away at some of the outdated notions featured in many of the Mouse House’s fairy-tale films.

Jennifer Lee, now the chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, returned to co-write and co-direct the sequel with Chris Buck. Oscar-winning songwriting couple Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez also came back for the icy sequel, as well as voice cast stars Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.

“Frozen” quickly become one of Disney’s top franchises, inspiring merchandise, theme park rides and a Broadway musical. Although “Frozen II” didn’t sweep into theaters six years after the original film, the sequel was able to bring in record numbers for Disney and add to the Mouse House’s unprecedented year at the box office.

As CNN reports, Disney has boasted five blockbusters this year that have each made more than $1 billion globally: “Avengers: Endgame,” “Toy Story 4,” “Captain Marvel” and the reboots of “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” By July, Disney had already set the record for highest-grossing year for a studio ever.






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