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SYFY WIRE Box Office

Frozen II shatters genre box office slump with $127 million debut in North America

By Josh Weiss
Frozen 2 poster

These past few weeks have not been kind to genre films at the box office. Both Doctor Sleep (Warner Bros.) and Charlie's Angels (Sony Pictures) fell well below expectations, creating somewhat of a slump for movies set within the realms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

With that said, Disney is crawling out of that rut with the release of the highly anticipated Frozen II, which iced $127 million in domestic sales this weekend. Not only is that way more than the $93 million made by the first installment during the 2013 Thanksgiving weekend, it's also the third-highest North American debut for any animated feature after two other Disney releases: Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory.

Moreover, the domestic total, which breaks the record for biggest animated opening in November (the title was previously held by the first Frozen), goes beyond early predictions of $100 million.

In foreign markets, the animated sequel has racked up $223 million, for an impressive global opening of $350 million. That's the largest worldwide debut sum of any animated feature, a feat previously achieved by Toy Story 4, which brought in $240.9 million during its first weekend over the summer. Moreover, the $223 million from international markets is the biggest foreign draw of any animated release in history. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs held the record since 2009 with $152 million.

According to CNBC, the movie could become the Mouse House's sixth film to cross the $1 billion mark in 2019.

"Granted, it's not easy following up on the first film," Disney distribution chief Cathleen Taff said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "Six years is a pretty big gap, but the length of time doesn't matter when people feel invested in the characters."

Frozen II also hit major milestones for Biggest IMAX Opening for an Animated Film ($18 million), Third-Biggest Industry Opening of All Time in South Korea for Any Film ($31.5 million), and Top Three-Day Domestic Opening for Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Directed by the returning Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Frozen II finds Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and Olaf (Josh Gad) traveling beyond the borders of Arendelle to discover the origins of Elsa's ice powers. With more original songs written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the family-friendly flick features new additions to the voice cast, mainly Evan Rachel Wood, Sterling K. Brown, and Alfred Molina.

Critics have been kind to the follow-up, which currently holds a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes—15 points lower than the original.

After a disappointingly low debut of $8.5 million last weekend, Elizabeth Banks' Charlie's Angels reboot fell 62% during its second outing, with an added $3.1 million domestically. The film, which cost around $50 million to produce, is a certified box-office bomb, with just $13.9 million to its name in North America. Overseas, the Sony release has brought in less than $2 million.

Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska lead the cast as the latest agents of the Townsend Agency.

(via VarietyCNBC & Box Office Mojo)