Chinese moviegoers still hot for Disney’s Frozen 2 as it rakes in 40 per cent of Sunday’s total box office revenue

Louise Moon

Disney’s Frozen 2 continued to take China by storm in its second weekend at cinemas, bringing in almost US$10 million on Sunday alone, its tenth day on the big screen.

The animated Walt Disney sequel to the 2013 blockbuster Frozen earned 68.67 million yuan (US$9.7 million) on Sunday in China, accounting for almost 40 per cent of the total box office sales among all films, state media outlet Xinhua said on Monday, citing the China Movie Data Information Network.

That would mean Chinese moviegoers on Sunday alone generated 6 per cent of Frozen 2’s global earnings over the whole weekend – US$164 million.

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Enthusiasm has not waned for the story of sisters Queen Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, and Princess Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, who travel to an ancient enchanted forest in a bid to save their kingdom.

On its first weekend in China, Frozen 2 raked in US$53 million – the highest ever for a Disney animated film in the country – to instantly surpass the US$48 million earned by the original Frozen through its entire run in Chinese theatres in 2014.

The animation has already made US$90.9 million in China, the world’s second largest film market, according to Asian film and cinema consultancy Artisan Gateway.

On Weibo, China’s microblogging website often likened to Twitter, a hashtag of the film’s name has been mentioned almost 9 million times with users posting trailers and pictures of their tickets and quotes from the film.

Meanwhile, on ticketing app Maoyan the film is rated 8.9 out of 10, on Alibaba’s Taopiaopiao it scores 8.8, and on social networking and rating service Douban it managed a more modest 7.3.

Frozen 2 is still a favourite animation musical for both older and young children. It plays a vital role in educating children in music,” one reviewer wrote on Maoyan, while another pointed to the “perfect singing and dancing, perfect special effects, and perfect characters”. Some on Maoyan and Weibo, however, argued it was not as good as the original.

“I have always wanted to watch this ever since the first one. I am a fan! The story is not as amazing as the first one but images are amazingly beautiful. Totally worth waiting,” said 29-year-old Angela Miao, who works as an auditor in Shanghai and went to see the film on its first day of screening.

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Since it first premiered on November 22, the film, directed by Jennifer Lee, has earned US$739 million worldwide, and is expected to become the sixth Disney film to breach US$1 billion in worldwide box office receipts this year. Others have included Avengers: Endgame, which overtook Titanic to become the top-grossing film of all time, The Lion King and Captain Marvel.

Globally it achieved the biggest ever opening weekend for an animated movie, making US$358 million in its first three days across 37 countries that included the US and China.

It beat the previous record set by Toy Story 4 in June, of US$240.9 million worldwide, as well as opening weekend earnings of its prequel, which made US$110.6 million.

Adding to a slew of records, the sequel has already surpassed the total box office sales of the first movie in 11 territories, including China.

Elsewhere, Frozen 2 has earned US$61 million in South Korea, US$38 million in Japan, and US$35 million in the United Kingdom.

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