Sunday, May 11, 2014

"Frozen" Tops Japanese Box Office for Ninth Week

Frozen box office grosses
Anna of "Frozen" (2013).
Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Frozen" is still setting records, six months after its release at Thanksgiving.

Japan doesn't always show favor on animated foreign films because it is a world leader in anime - though Japan is not necessarily opposed to such foreign films, either. But the universality of "Frozen" has won the hearts of Japanese moviegoers just as it has everywhere else. Disney also shrewdly took advantage of the Japanese "Golden Week" of holidays to maximize that territory's box office.

"Frozen has now spent nine straight weeks at the top of the Japanese box office. It has grossed $164 million - just from Japan. That is a staggering sum for Japan, and already exceeds the total take from last year's "favorite son" box office champ, "The Wind Rises." That film took in "just" $113 million.

Oh, and get this: the second highest-grossing film in Japan this year is "Doraemon Shin Nobita No Daimakyo" at over $33 million. Know who distributed that?


The top-grossing film in Japan all-time is Studio Ghibli's national treasure "Spirited Away" from 2001, which took in an astounding $300 million (based on current exchange rates). "Frozen" would have to roughly double its take in Japan to catch "Spirited Away, so that's not too likely. But you never know...

Overall to date - and the money is still rolling in - "Frozen" has grossed $400 million domestically (the US) and another $790 million overseas. It is the highest-grossing animated film of all time overseas and continues expanding that record.

In terms of the worldwide box office, "Iron Man 3" grossed $1.21 billion last year and is just ahead of "Frozen" on the all-time box office (not adjusted for inflation). The only other films that remain above "Frozen" in total gross in unadjusted dollars are "Avatar,” “Titanic,” “Marvel's The Avengers” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.”

"Frozen" should catch at least some of the all-time box office champs still above it before it's done. And just wait for the inevitable re-releases that Disney specializes in. And then there's the eventual sequel...

In honor of this achievement, here's a familiar song as sung for the Japanese audience by Takako Matsu.


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