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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why 'Frozen' Has Put Us In A New Ice Age

     Are you tired of "Let it Go"? Too bad. You haven't seen Frozen yet? You live under a rock. What is your girlfriend, kid, and maybe even boyfriend going to dress as for Halloween? Elsa. Frozen and its associates have taken the world by storm. If you tell someone that Frozen is the biggest animated phenomenon since 2004, they may laugh at you, but it's true.
     What was that 2004 phenom? Shrek 2. Even ten years later, Shrek 2 remains the highest grossing animated film domestically at $441 million. Adjusted, Shrek 2 raked in $565 million - without 3D, making Shrek 2 likely the 2nd or 3rd biggest film of the 2000's decade. Ten years later, it's Frozen's turn. Frozen is the biggest animated movie since 2010's Toy Story 3. Frozen won't pass the domestic gross of TS3, but it doesn't need to to solidify its cultural status.
     While Toy Story 3 was the biggest animated movie in six years, it didn't have the impact that Frozen has had. Toy Story 3 had the luxury of 1 and 2 and was mainly huge in theaters, video, and merchandising. Frozen is not a sequel with 15 years of built-up goodwill, and has a few more categories that it gets to claim. From its stratospheric box office gross to its two Oscar wins to its staggering Youtube views, you just can't stop the Elsa blizzard. Looks like you just gotta freeze.
     Soundtrack. Frozen's soundtrack is pulling an Adele. It is the longest running #1 animated soundtrack in history and has been #1 on the Billboard 200 for 10 non-consecutive weeks, and shows no signs of slowing down soon. "Let it Go" has also peaked at #5 on the Billboard 100. Youtube. Frozen is a viral sensation. Firefighters, little girls, college students, violinists, soccer moms, African tribes, choirs, parody makers, celebrities, news anchors, and maybe even prisoners have been caught singing "Let It Go" and have made covers. The official "Let It Go" video has nearly 200 million views, the sing-a-long adds another 50 million, and the Demi Lovato version nets 137 million. Altogether, videos about "Let it Go" alone have generated over 500 million views. Just "Let it Go". Still not on the level of "Gangnam Style", but what other movie has pulled 500 million views and hundreds of covers for one song? None. Just Frozen.
     Home video. Frozen sold 3.2 million DVD's and Blu-rays in its first day of release; something that hasn't been done in a decade. For comparison, Toy Story 3 sold 3.8 million in its first week. The digital download is also the fastest selling of all time. Merchandise. Frozen's merchandising potential is seemingly unlimited. Who does synergy better than Disney? Furniture, plush toys, dolls, apparel, school supplies, snacks, Frozen on Ice, Frozen on Broadway, Lego Frozen, Disney Channel and ABC, Disney World and Disneyland appearances, games and apps, soundtracks, animated shorts, Olaf Christmas specials, costumes, it just doesn't end. The Anna and Elsa costumes will undoubtedly be the #1 costumes this upcoming Halloween, whether you're 6 or 26. There have also been reports of parents shelling out hundreds on Ebay for sold-out Frozen dolls to give to their daughters. Disney is trying it's best to keep Disney Stores stocked. Frozen merchandise sales are poised to surpass ticket sales (if it hasn't already).
     Even cosplay, fan-fiction, and conspiracy theories are becoming Frozen obsessive. If you didn't know, children don't really participate in those, so this shows how teens, young adults, and adults are embracing it as well. Was Olaf responsible for Stonehenge? Is Anna rigging the NBA? Is Elsa melting glaciers? Somewhere, someone thinks so.
     Lastly, the box office. Back in October, the average prediction for Frozen was $200 million domestic and $400 million overseas. Turns out...everyone was wrong. Frozen is now the highest grossing animated movie of all time worldwide and #6 overall. It is currently sitting at $1.2 billion, with Asia being a huge surprise contributor. South Korea, China, and Japan all gave Frozen a surprisingly warm welcome (no pun intended). Any day now, Frozen will cross $400 million domestic, becoming the 19th overall and 4th animated movie ever to do so. Frozen is also the 2nd biggest PG-rated movie ever, the 7th biggest overall of this decade so far, and the 2nd biggest animated of the 2010's so far, in North America. No one saw this coming, and the way Frozen was able to survive in mainstream theaters for five months (in dollar theaters now) shows how amazing of a reception the movie has received. 
     When I saw Frozen in theaters, a little girl walked in wearing Elsa's snow dress. I have never seen someone dress up to a movie before (I don't do midnights) and it was very aww-ing. That same girl also sang along. This has to have happened all across the country. I've overheard many people talking about Frozen in conversations and friends have asked me about it.
     If you think Frozen's pop-cultural impact is overrated, you're in a small, small, small minority. From 6 year old girls to 50 year old male news anchors, people just can't let go of Frozen. We haven't seen an animated movie phenomenon like this in a decade and Frozen deserves it all. There have even been reports that Anna and Elsa are soon going to be inducted into the Disney Princesses. Is there a Frozen 2 on the horizon? Many fans actually don't want a sequel because they don't want the charm of the original to be ruined, but when Frozen 2 is announced, it will be welcomed with open arms anyway. If it is not released in 2016, which is pretty likely it's not, don't expect it before 2018 based on Disney's current schedule. No telling when the Frozen train will slow down, but it's good to see the world coming together for something like this. Like Shrek, Pixar, and Despicable Me, Frozen had the perfect formula to make it happen. Now let's make like Olaf and bring back Summer, because the cold weather has to go.

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