MONDAY UPDATE: Already skating to a record-breaking opening weekend, Frozen 2 has stuffed Disney’s sleigh full of even more cash with the Sunday actuals. The studio reports that the international box office debut has risen $5M from yesterday’s estimate to hit $228.2M, while global is now looking at $358.2M, including a higher estimated $130M domestic bow.
The sequel to 2013’s mega-hit blew past projections in its launch frame, and set new all-time records for an animated opening internationally and worldwide. In North America, it scored the best November opening for an animated pic ever.
SUNDAY UPDATE, writethru: Growing hotter and hotter throughout the weekend, Disney’s Frozen 2 scored an enchanting $350.2M global debut — the biggest day-and-date worldwide animated launch ever. Of the total, $223.2M is from 37 markets at the international box office where Anna and Elsa also set a new benchmark for the highest offshore animated opening of all time, crushing previous title-holder, Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs.
The Jennifer Lee/Chris Buck-directed sequel landed No. 1 bows in each of its opening markets and saw significant weekend play with key Asia markets overindexing. Reasonable analysis on Saturday was still pointing to a $180M+ start, but what took folks by surprise was a stronger Saturday/Sunday than predicted. The movie notably bested expectations in China, Korea and Japan with bumps in those and other hubs.
China leads all markets with $53M for the 3rd best animated debut ever and the top start for a Disney Animation/Pixar film (overtaking Zootopia and Coco). Korea is next at $31.5M for the 3rd highest industry opening weekend ever (behind only Avengers: Endgame and Along With The Gods 2). Japan, which was the major market on the original film, opened with $18.2M to secure the best start for a Disney Animation/Pixar movie ever (same in Spain, Germany and more).
Elsewhere, animated opening records were set in France, the UK, Poland, Indonesia and Malaysia among others.
Prior to the weekend, there was concern about frontloading, particularly in markets like Japan and Korea which had massive multiples last time around. The top hubs on the original were ultimately Japan with a staggering $249M (and a No. 1 hold for 16 weeks); followed by Korea, the UK, Germany and China.
We’ll know more how frontloading plays out as we see the first holds this week. The original movie opened to $67M in like-for-like markets and at today’s rates so it’s clear how massive the anticipation was on the sequel — which came in at a staggering 233% higher. There are still major markets to come including Italy, Russia and Brazil.
Disney’s President of Theatrical Distribution, Cathleen Taff, says, “We are definitely thrilled. It’s not easy to follow up the original Frozen. We are cautiously optimistic the film will continue to have legs. With the strong social scores and the holidays coming up, I think we’re going to have a good run.” Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff have room ahead of them with Jumanji: The Next Level the next major family option to enter the markets in mid-December.
In IMAX, F2 iced the the all-time biggest opening for an animated title, earning $18M globally and toppling Incredibles 2’s $15.6M debut. Internationally, the film delivered $9.7M making it the biggest IMAX opening for an animated film overseas. Similar records were set in China, Korea and Germany among others.
Frozen 2’s $223.2M sucked a huge snowball of air out of overseas this weekend — the next highest grossing movie internationally was Disney’s release of Fox/Chernin’s Ford V Ferrari at $14.7M (also racing across $100M global in its second lap). Some other titles also continued to accrue, however. Joker added another $7.6M to drop just 43% and has now reached $71.3M in the UK and $45M in France and Japan (global is $1.036B). Universal’s Last Christmas has crossed $50M global and had strong holds in the UK, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands as it looks to play through the holidays while adding several further markets. And, Constantin’s German remake of Italy’s Perfect Strangers, Das Perfekte Geheimnis, has now grossed over $37M locally. Conversely, Sony’s Charlie’s Angels took a big 73% fall, adding just $4.6M in the sophomore overseas session for $29.6M to date.
Breakdowns have been updated below.
Disney’s animated sequel blew past projections to capture a $350.2M record global start this weekend. That includes $223.2M from overseas (also an all-time animated record) where Saturday analysis was pointing to a $180M+ bow. The surprise factor wasa stronger Saturday/Sunday than predicted. The movie fared particularly well in Asia, besting expectations in China, Korea and Japan.
Anticipation was clearly through the roof — the original Frozen opened to $67M in like-for-like markets and at today’s rates so this is a 233% bigger launch. That speaks to the brand that captured hearts last time around and built and built to become the highest-grossing animated movie ever worldwide at $1.27B. One source opined to us recently that the franchise isn’t limited to girls since the guys will also turn out to meet up with their classmates. And parents are of course along for the ride. What matters next is how well the movie holds after such a splashy debut. There are more markets to come and there is plenty of runway until Jumanji: The Next Level bows in mid-December.
Frozen 2 opened No. 1 in all of its 37 material markets, setting a bunch of records. Those include the 3rd highest industry opening ever in Korea; the highest opening weekend ever for an animated title in France, the UK (3-day), Belgium, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland (3-day), Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, UAE, Ukraine, Indonesia and Malaysia; the 3rd best opening weekend ever for an animated title in China; and the highest opening weekend ever for a Disney Animation/Pixar movie in Japan, China, Spain, Germany, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Slovakia. This was also the highest ever opening weekend for a Disney Animation title in Mexico, Central America, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, India and Hong Kong.
China leads all play at $53M. A start above $50M in China is particularly notable for an animated Hollywood title, and came in above industry estimates (even if some saw pre-sales as an indication of possibly topping the half-century mark). Korea and Japan also blew past expectations while the Asia social scores were solid. (Maoyan actually dropped from a 9.1 on Friday to a 9 on Sunday, but that clearly didn’t impact business.) The ticketing platform is currently predicting a $104M Middle Kingdom final, though the site often fluctuates.
Rounding out the Top 10 behind China are Korea ($31.5M), Japan ($18.2M), UK ($17.2M), Germany ($14.9M), France ($13.4M), Mexico ($9.3M), Indonesia ($6.2M), Philippines ($6.1M) and Spain ($5.8M).
Key markets not opening this weekend include Italy, Russia, Australia and Brazil.
FORD V FERRARI
Last week’s circuit champ revved up another $14.7M in 43 markets this session, taking the offshore cume to $45.8M and global to $103.8M. The Fox/Chernin Entertainment pic released by Disney right into awards season slowed by just 35% internationally, including great holds in Australia (-23%), Mexico, (-28%), Germany (-30%), Russia (-30%), Indonesia (-32%), France (-33%), Netherlands (-37%), Spain (-37%) and the UK (-37%).
Next weekend adds a handful of smaller markets with Korea due on December 5. Japan rides out January 10 and a China date is still TBD.
The Top 5 markets so far are Russia ($6.8M), the UK ($5.3M), France ($4.7M), Australia ($3.7M) and Mexico ($3.1M).
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Joker (WB): $7.6M intl weekend (77 markets); $708.8M intl cume ($1.036B global)
Last Christmas (UNI): $6.7M intl weekend (26 markets); $24M intl cume ($51.8M global)
Terminator: Dark Fate (DIS): $5.6M intl weekend (48 markets); $189.8M intl cume ($249.3M global)
Midway (CENT/AGC/var): $5.4M intl weekend (40 markets); $55.8M intl cume ($99M global)
Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil (DIS): $5.1M intl weekend (53 markets); $363.4M intl cume ($472.3M global)
Charlie’s Angels (SNY): $4.6M intl weekend (30 markets); $29.6M intl cume ($43.5M global)
The Upside (STX): $3M intl weekend (China only); $17.6M intl cume ($125.9M global)
*21 Bridges (STX): $2.73M intl weekend (24 markets); $2.73M intl cume ($12M global)
The Addams Family (UNI): $2.7M intl weekend (38 Uni markets); $80.6M intl cume ($175.2M global)
Doctor Sleep (WB): $2.6M intl weekend (76 markets); $33.6M intl cume ($62.3M global)
Countdown (STX): $2.15M intl weekend (39 markets); $10M intl cume ($34.9M global)
Zombieland: Double Tap (SNY): $2.1M intl weekend (48 markets); $43.3M intl cume ($114.9M global)
Abominable (UNI): $1.3M intl weekend (49 markets); $114.2M intl cume ($174.1M global)
Hustlers (STX): $1.1M intl weekend (53 markets); $45.6M intl cume ($150.4M global)
The Good Liar (WB): $1.1M intl weekend (20 markets); $5.4M intl cume ($17.2M global)
Downton Abbey (UNI): $700K intl weekend (27 markets); $88.4M intl cume ($184.9M global)
*Harriet (UNI): $100K intl weekend (UK only); $100K intl cume ($36.1M global)
PREVIOUS, SATURDAY UPDATE: Through Friday, Disney’s Frozen 2 has grossed $99.6M worldwide. The international box office portion of that is $57.8M with the full offshore launch looking to climb into the $180M+ realm, outstripping some industry projections from ahead of the weekend and, in a sign of the anticipation for this pic, throwing snowballs at the original which bowed to $67M in like-for-like markets (today’s rates). The Jennifer Lee/Chris Buck-directed sequel continues to open at No. 1 in all markets, setting new benchmarks in many.
The cume above does not include the China Saturday whose early estimates point to another $24M (a 110% increase on Friday), bringing the total there to $35M over the first two days. The local Saturday number (RMB 169M) set a new single-day record for an animated Hollywood title, overtaking Disney’s own Zootopia (RMB 167M) — that’s a straight comparison which doesn’t take into account that Zootopia‘s box office did not include online service fees which were not added at the time. The Middle Kingdom debut should top $50M.
Also in China, and as noted yesterday, Anna and Elsa set a new record for a Disney Animation/Pixar opening day (Friday). The same record has been achieved in Poland while Friday was the top Disney Animation opening day ever in the UK and Mexico (at $3.9M and $2.1M, respectively, per our sources).
Elsewhere, the ladies captured the No. 2 best animated opening day for a western film in Japan behind only Toy Story 4. We understand F2 skated to a $3M Friday bow in this key, slow-burn market which was the top-grossing hub on the original.
Frozen 2 also shoveled up the 2nd best Disney Animation/Pixar opening day ever in Spain, India and Vietnam.
We’ll have a full update on Sunday.
PREVIOUS UPDATE FRIDAY, writethru: Disney’s Frozen 2 is off to a hot start overseas with $18.6M from 26 markets at the international box office through Thursday. All debuts were No. 1, while Anna and Elsa now own the biggest animated opening day of all time in Korea ($4.2M) and several other hubs including Indonesia, Turkey, the Philippines, Malaysia and the UAE.
Along with Korea, key markets that have launched so far on the Jennifer Lee/Chris Buck-directed sequel are France and Germany. The first day in France set a new Disney Animation record with $2.6M, while Germany posted the 3rd highest animated opening day of all time at $1.9M. Both markets are currently at $3M.
Not included in the offshore total above is the China Friday which plowed in $11.4M. (with sneaks), repping the best Disney Animation/Pixar opening day ever. This portends a debut weekend in the $40M+ range, with a bump expected on Saturday. The film currently has a 9.1 on Maoyan and a 7.5 on Douban. Though the original logged a 9.5 on Maoyan and an 8.3 on Douban, its Middle Kingdom final in the younger days of the boom market was $48.2M in unadjusted dollars; this means Frozen 2 could ice the first film in its first frame. The two biggest overall Disney and/or Pixar movies in China are, respectively, Zootopia and Coco which both over indexed versus their stablemates.
Ahead of the weekend, conservative projections for the international opening were in the $120M-$140M range, though we were cautioned there was plenty of upward wiggle room. It certainly now looks like that will be the case with at least a $170M start that should lean even higher. Japan is an issue here since it was such a stalwart the last time around, holding No.1 for 16 weeks as it continued to strike a chord. We will know more how Japan is reacting in the coming days. Along with that market and China bowing today, are 10 further markets including such key plays as Mexico, the UK and Spain.
The original Frozen was a phenomenon that just built and built, so the thinking has been that this one could be more frontloaded, particularly in markets like Japan and Korea which had massive multiples last time around. Until we see the performance in Japan, a slow-burn market, that remains something of a swing. Korea, for its part, is now at $8.9M after two days (not included in the through-Thursday total above) so there’s no slowdown there. In France, we see a drop from Wednesday to Thursday, but the fact that kids aren’t in school on Wednesday afternoons contributes to that.
In other milestones in early play, Frozen 2 has also posted the 2nd highest animated opening day of all time in Belgium and the 3rd highest animated opening day ever in the Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand.