Staring at the worldwide box office charts for the last month or so, it became apparent that Frozen, the latest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, would cross the $1 billion mark, as the animated film simply proved to be an unstoppable force. It had already obliterated records, for animated films, for the studio, and films in general, and although its domestic run was nearing its end, it continued to be a mainstay on the box office charts. Today, the film has become the first Disney Animation film to gross over $1 billion!
Previously, The Lion King was the Disney studio’s largest moneymaker, sitting at a total worldwide gross of $987.4 million, but that included subsequent re-releases in IMAX and 3D. Although Frozen has been playing in both 2D and 3D, and has the advantage of higher overall ticket prices, joining the billion dollar club in one run remains a remarkable achievement. It joins Toy Story 3, which was released by sister studio Pixar, as the only animated films ever to mark the milestone.
Given that sequels (and prequels and reboots) stand a better chance at making an exorbitant amount of money, original films are outnumbered at the top of the all-time box office charts. Actually, Frozen is one of the few films that is the first of a franchise to gross $1 billion – take away the films based on previously established properties, like The Avengers and Alice in Wonderland, and you are left with Avatar, Titanic, Jurassic Park, and Frozen. Two of those are James Cameron films, the third is a Steven Spielberg film, and now the newest addition is the first original animated film to join the club.
Frozen continues to bring in large crowds – in its 15th (!) weekend of domestic release, the film stayed in the top 10 (#8) and brought in an estimated $3.6 million, even more incredible when considering that it was released on iTunes this past Tuesday. It is now approaching its fourth month of release and the Blu-ray/DVD sets are just a stone’s throw away (about two weeks away at March 18th), yet audiences continue to turn out. Worldwide is a similar story, with key regions such as China bringing in hordes of cash (so far, the country has reported over $40 million in sales). Its international roll-out is almost complete, with Japan being the last major country to see release, which is set for March 14th.
On a day when the Oscars are scheduled to be held, and Frozen is nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (“Let It Go”), it is perhaps fitting that the film crossed the billion dollar mark today. The film has, rightfully so, earned much praise for the filmmakers and the studio who brought it to theaters, and there should be a celebration when a quality film sees great success!