Before the release of Frozen, the film was being hailed as Disney Animation’s best since The Lion King. Although you would be hard-pressed to gain a consensus on what fans call their favorite in the last 20 years (there are some great options), Frozen is living up to the challenge in the box office department. Recently, the film crossed the $200 million mark and it shows no signs of stopping. It has now become the animation studio’s second highest-grossing film ever in North America!
In its fifth week at the domestic box office, Frozen grossed an estimated $28.85 million in the U.S. and Canada, enough to take the number two spot, after The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Although many films have a big opening frame, the true test comes in its subsequent weeks, as the excitement of the opening dies down and word-of-mouth becomes the largest influencer. Frozen is showing incredible staying power, with its fifth weekend being the biggest ever for a non-James Cameron film (Avatar and Titanic took in $42.7 million and $30 million), demonstrating that audiences are talking up the film to their friends and families, leading to minimal drops week after week. Actually, Frozen showed an increase this weekend when compared to last weekend, not unheard of during holiday weekends, but its large 47% increase after a month of release is mind-blowing.
After five weeks, it has grossed $248.37 million, good enough to pass Tangled, Disney Animation’s biggest recent film. Frozen now stands tall in the studio’s number two spot in North America, trailing only The Lion King, which grossed $312.86 million in its original run (and added an additional $110 million from later IMAX and 3D runs). Of course, The Lion King sold a higher number of tickets, as the average admission price was significantly lower in the mid-1990s and there were no higher-priced 3D tickets being sold. However, Frozen‘s box office run remains notable because it is a great success story for Walt Disney Animation Studios, as even after being adjusted for inflation, it is still the studio’s highest grosser since the release of The Lion King. Those who have counted the studio out, saying that animated films need to be contemporary and pack in current pop culture jokes in order to be successful, are clearly in the wrong. The power of the Disney fairy tale remains a powerful force.
Internationally, Frozen has grossed an additional $243.5 million, bringing its worldwide tally to $491.87 million, close to breaking more records for Disney Animation. Aladdin sits at $504 million and Tangled at $591 million, while The Lion King is far ahead at $987 million. After its international roll-out is complete, Frozen will likely be the studio’s second highest-grossing film worldwide.
With its consistent strength, Frozen is set to be in theaters for a long while, and more records will be smashed. Disney animated films are not going anywhere, and I would not have it any other way.
All box office numbers are via Box Office Mojo.