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Disney's 'Frozen 2' hitting theaters with big box office expectations

James Leggate

“Frozen 2” could be Disney’s sixth movie of the year to hit $1 billion at the box office.

The sequel to the 2013 hit “Frozen” officially releases Friday. Industry insiders are expecting a domestic opening weekend of more than $100 million and $220 million worldwide, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

As far back as 2015, when the sequel was announced, industry watchers have been saying “Frozen 2” could gross $1.5 billion at the box office. Fandango announced this week that “Frozen 2” is the top-selling animated pre-seller in the company’s history.

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If “Frozen 2” meets those expectations, Disney will have six, billion-dollar movies this year and will be set up for seven when the third of the latest “Star Wars” trilogy is released in December. Only two non-Disney movies have hit $1 billion this year: Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far from Home” with $1.13 billion worldwide and Warner Bros.’ “Joker” with $1.02 billion, according to Box Office Mojo.

Disney’s other titles to hit $1 billion this year include “Avengers: Endgame,” “The Lion King,” “Captain Marvel,” “Toy Story 4” and “Aladdin.” This is the first time Disney has had so many billion-dollar movies in a single year.

The “Frozen” franchise has been a big moneymaker for Disney since the original movie’s release, which set a box office record as the top-grossing animated film with more than $1.2 billion worldwide. It held that record until earlier this year, when “The Lion King” remake hit $1.6 billion.

The “Frozen” soundtrack sold 2.78 million copies in the year after its release, topping the charts 13 times and selling four times as many albums as the second-best-selling album, which was “Beyonce,”  according to Billboard. The “Frozen” Broadway musical has grossed more than $136 million since it opened last year, according to Broadway World.

And Disney’s licensing segment, including “Frozen” merch, hit $122.7 billion in retail sales last year, according to Licensing International’s annual survey. Disney has been gearing up for big retail sales related to the sequel, and there are more than 152 “Frozen 2” Black Friday deals, FOX Business previously reported.

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“Frozen 2” is set three years after the original, producer Peter Del Vecho told Deadline. He said the team behind the original movie started asking themselves questions about the characters.

“Is there any such thing as happily ever after? Doesn’t life have a way of throwing more obstacles in your way? What is Elsa meant to do? Where did she get her powers? These questions kept leading to more questions,” Del Vecho said. “I think we realized the characters themselves were telling us there was a lot more story to tell.”

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FOX Business’ Jeanette Settembre contributed to this report.

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