The debut of Frozen II saw Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel reprise their roles voicing Princess Anna and Queen Elsa, with new cast members including Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown.
Queen Elsa and Princess Anna made their triumphant return to the big screen over the weekend with the premier of Disney’s Frozen II.
The film opened to a record $127m in the US and $223.3m overseas from 37 markets for a massive worldwide start of $350.2m – making Frozen II the number one global debut ever for an animated title. Frozen II also helped revive the November box office, where ticket sales had fallen by 27% year-on-year, after recent titles made disappointing sales.
The film set a new benchmark for an animated film opening in November — it scored the third-best domestic start of all time for any animated picture, behind 2018’s Incredibles II ($182.7m) and 2016’s Finding Dory ($135.1m). It’s the first time an animated title launching outside the summer period crossed the $100m mark in its start.
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, who is also chief creative officer of Disney Animation Studios, Frozen II smashed numerous records worldwide, including the best opening of all time for an animated picture in the UK ($17.8m) and in France ($13.4m), as well as the biggest ever opening for a Pixar or Disney animation title in China ($53m), Japan ($18.2m), Germany ($14.9m) and Spain ($5.8m). The film also boasted the third-biggest industry opening of any movie in South Korea ($31.5m).
The successful debut of the sequel underscores the lasting influence of the original Frozen. The 2013 film, which launched on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, set a holiday animated record with a five-day domestic gross of $93m, including $67m for the three-day weekend. The film went on to earn $1.28b at the global box office, becoming the top-grossing animated film of all time, as well as one of the most successful musicals ever. Some critics have argued that the original film is better than the new one, but box office results show this has not diminished film goers’ interest.
Disney distribution chief Cathleen Taff commented: “Making a sequel to Frozen was a high bar to set, but the filmmakers did an outstanding job delivering this next chapter. It’s emotional, and it has something for everyone.”