Disney animated feature film "Frozen" opened in Japan recently, one of the last remaining markets where it hasn't had its run yet, and is doing fantastic business there.
Frozen opened in Japan at the top of the box-office chart this past weekend with a big $9.6 million (￥986.4 million) three-day take from 792,636 admissions, the biggest-ever weekend bow for an animated Disney movie in the market.
"Frozen" took in more than triple what Warner Bros. release "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" managed earlier this month, when it accumulated just over $3 million (￥313 million). "Smaug" topped the box office itself, becoming the first imported film to top the box office this year, so that shows you that "Frozen" is simply swamping the competition. Hayao Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises" was the top Japanese film of 2013. Note that Japan is a top market, pretty much the equal or superior to any other single overseas market.
One interesting thing about the Japanese release is that it was renamed "Anna to Yuki no Jou" ("Anna and the Snow Queen") in both a 3D subtitled version and a 2D dubbed edition. Takako Matsu ("Confessions") is the Japanese voice of Elsa and singer of a do-over of the Oscar-winning "Let It Go."
"Frozen" hasn't hauled in a full billion dollars yet at the international box office, but it's getting close. "The Wind Rises" grossed ¥11.6 billion (US$113 million) at the Japanese box office last year, so if "Frozen" manages anything like that (a distinct possibility, though "The Wind Rises" touched a real chord in the Japanese soul and was a rare phenomenon in Japan), that billion-dollar mark should be possible.
With upcoming DVD sales and action figures (such as pictured below) and related merchandise, "Frozen" will be worth "billions and billions" to Disney in the long run, as Carl Sagan would say.