It's cold winter in China, but theaters around the country are packed to see Disney's new animated feature Frozen 2. The film arrives six years after its predecessor and sees the return of Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff, as they venture beyond the kingdom of Arendelle to find out why Elsa was born with magical powers.
The film has topped box office charts all over the world. In North America, it raked in $127 million over the pre-Thanksgiving weekend, which is the most successful opening weekend ever for an animated film outside of summer.
The Chinese premiere of Frozen 2 is held at the Walt Disney Grand Theater at Shanghai Disney Resort, Nov. 12, 2019. [Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Studios]
The movie has collected $223 million overseas, including a massive 372 million yuan ($53 million) from China, which is the biggest opening ever for an imported animation. IMAX China also reported around 30 million-yuan ($4.26 million) gross from its 660 IMAX theaters across the country. So far, the film has grossed over $350.2 million worldwide, the biggest debut ever for an animated film.
The original Frozen was released in China in February 2014, months after its international debut, and it grossed a meager 298 million yuan ($48.24 million) in Chinese theaters. But since then, the franchise has grown considerable in popularity.
Shanghai Disneyland's iconic castle turns into a castle from the film to coincide with the release of Frozen 2. [Photo courtesy of Shanghai Disney Resort]
As with most Disney films, merchandise is playing a large role in the franchise's financial success. Characters from the film have become iconic in China, with many children dressing up as Anna and Elsa to attend the sequel. Frozen themed toys, dresses, royal crowns, shoes, stickers, books, beauty products and jewelry are all currently selling well in China. The touring show, Disney on Ice which features a section originated from Frozen, is also returning to China.
To coincide with the release of Frozen 2, Shanghai Disney Resort also has transformed into a festive Frozen wonderland filled with special seasonal surprises including a castle and fake snow. The Frozen Snow Celebration is also returning to Mickey Avenue for the winter. Meanwhile, Frozen: A Sing-Along Celebration at the Evergreen Playhouse inside the Shanghai Disneyland remains a popular attraction.