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'Frozen' Becomes Highest-Grossing Animated Film Ever

3D Disney flick beats out 'Toy Story 3' for top spot

Elsa from 'Frozen'
Courtesy of Disney
March 31, 2014 11:30 AM ET

Disney's 3D musical-comedy Frozen is officially the highest grossing animated film of all-time, climbing over the billion-dollar mark after a strong opening weekend in Japan. The Oscar-winning flick has now grossed $1.072 billion worldwide, which breaks down to $398 million domestically and $674 million internationally. To reach that jaw-dropping top spot, Frozen had to ice out some friendly competition – the 2010 Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 3, which previously grossed $1.063 billion. 

Oscars 2014's 25 Best and Worst Moments: Idina Menzel Oversings 'Let It Go'

The film, directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (and loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen), had its American debut last November and was released on DVD and Blu-Ray earlier this month. In addition to charming the ticket-buying public, the film also earned solid reviews (including a three-star assessment from our own Peter Travers) and took home Academy Awards for Best Animated Film and Original Song (the latter for "Let It Go"). 

The movie's soundtrack has been equally dominant in a chilly year for album sales – racking up a seven-week streak of dominance at the Number One spot. "When a musical grosses a billion dollars at the worldwide box office and features an inspirational album, why should we be surprised?" asked Glen Brunman, former head of Sony Music's soundtrack unit, in an interview with Rolling Stone. "Even in 2014, [when] soundtrack sales are starting to remind us of a bygone era?"

As Rolling Stone reported, the sucess of Frozen was a planned, months-long process by Disney, who released Demi Lovato's version of "Let It Go" two weeks before the album made its debut followed by Idina Menzel's version a month later. 

"You don't really want to go out [first] with a clip of the film," said Ken Bunt, president of the Disney Music Group. "The idea was to go out with the Demi version and follow up with the Idina version. It's a non-traditional pop song for radio. We've been working it for a while, but radio is realizing, 'This is an undeniable song.'"

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