Frozen 2: Elsa and the salamander Frozen 2: Elsa and the salamander

Frozen 2, the sequel to the 2013 box-office phenomenon, is so far living up to the hype — commercially, if not critically.

Over the weekend, the film debuted with $130.2 million domestically and $228.2 million overseas for a global total of $358.4 million, according to Disney. (All figures in this article not sourced from Disney are taken from Box Office Mojo.) These remarkable tallies, which exceeded most expectations, have prompted a lot of reporting and misreporting, including from Disney itself. So we’ve decided to clarify which records Frozen 2 has broken in its opening three-day run, and which it hasn’t.


Which records it has broken
Biggest opening for Walt Disney Animation Studios

This is true domestically. The previous record holder was Zootopia, which opened to $75.1 million in 2016. The original Frozen took $93.5 million over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, and $67.4 million in three days.

It is surely true globally, too, as Frozen 2 benefited from a day-and-date release across 37 international markets. Disney has tended to avoid this strategy for animated features in the past, preferring staggered releases that take advantage of the school holidays in different territories.

Biggest domestic opening outside summer for animation

Frozen 2 only holds the fourth-best domestic opening for animation (see below), but the top three all bowed in summer, the traditional season for major family blockbusters. Given its icy setting, Frozen 2 was never going to be a summer release — but that doesn’t diminish its feat of raking in such a big sum in November. What’s more, Disney chose to release it a week ahead of Thanksgiving, rather than on the holiday (as they did with the original). As such, the sequel is set for a significant performance in its second weekend.


Which records it hasn’t broken
Biggest global opening weekend for animation

Disney is claiming that Frozen 2 achieved “No. 1 day-and-date global animated debut of all time,” but it is discounting The Lion King. Jon Favreau’s remake opened on the weekend of July 19, debuting with $254.3 million overseas and $446.1 million globally, as per Disney’s own calculations. These figures don’t even include the $97.5 million that the film had made by then in China, where it opened a week early.

Disney has long fudged its description of the photorealistic cg remake, insinuating that it is live action, even though this is false. What is true is that The Lion King was produced by Walt Disney Pictures (which has traditionally produced live-action films), not Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Biggest overseas opening for animation

This is another record claimed by some media. As stated above, The Lion King netted $254.3 million — more than Frozen 2′s $228.2 million.

Biggest domestic opening weekend for animation

Here, too, Frozen 2 is trumped by The Lion King, which opened domestically with $191.8 million. It is also behind Pixar’s Incredibles 2 ($182.7 million) and Finding Dory ($135.1 million), both also released by Disney. Overall, it comes fourth.

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