Why ‘Frozen’ Is the Highest-Grossing Animated Movie Ever

'Frozen' is now the highest-grossing animated film in history, earning $1.072 billion worldwide. Here’s how it happened.


Statistically speaking, Frozen is the best animated film. Ever.

Buoyed by a strong debut in Japan, the movie is now the highest-grossing animated film in history, earning $1.072 billion worldwide. (That’s just more than Toy Story 3, which grossed $1.063 billion.) Here’s how it happened:1) Inflation! In domestic sales it's still technically behind (in ascending order): Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Toy Story 3, Aladdin, Lady and the Tramp, Finding Nemo, Bambi, Pinocchio, Shrek 2, The Jungle Book, Fantasia, The Lion King, 101 Dalmatians, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. 2) That being said, the film received excellent reviews and has an 89 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon was early on the Frozen bandwagon, anointing the flick “the best Disney film since The Lion King.” Melissa Leon agreed, saying that the film debunked outdated tropes like love at first sight and damsels in distress, slyly showing us how not to make a princess movie. The film won Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (more on this later) and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film.3) Hitting theaters on November 27, 2013, the film capitalized on the Thanksgiving box-office rush. It banked a Disney-record $67.4 million over the three-day weekend, and $93.9 million for the five-day holiday. These hauls shattered the previous Disney records, held by Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled, respectively. Big weekend, right? Frozen didn’t even open at no.1 at the box office. It was second, behind The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.4) Of its total gross, $398 million (37.2 percent) is from domestic sales, while $674 million (62.8 percent) is from international audiences.5) One of these nations was South Korea, where Frozen demolished records and crossed the $75 million mark in early March.6) When it comes to 2013 worldwide grosses, Frozen sits comfortably at no.2 on the list, behind Iron Man 3 and above Catching Fire.7) At the all-time box office, that puts Frozen at no.10, within striking distance of The Dark Knight Rises. (Transformers: Dark of the Moon is on that list, so that’s something to think about.)8) The top grossing animated film, in order: Frozen, Toy Story 3, The Lion King (which came out in 1994!), Despicable Me 2, Finding Nemo.9) The movie’s soundtrack has spent a seventh week at no.1 on the Billboard 200. This is partially because of the release of the film on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s only the fourth animated film soundtrack to do this.10) Director Jennifer Lee is the first female director of a Disney animated feature film.11) “LET IT GO.” John Travolta. Adele Dazeem.