With the animated film surpassing “The Lion King” as Walt Disney Animation’s highest-grossing toon to date, the Mouse House is developing new ways to expand what it already considers a new franchise.
“There’s a lot of active development,” on new iterations of “Frozen,” said Walt Disney Co. Chief Bob Iger on Wednesday during an earnings call to discuss the company’s strong first quarter results. “You will see ‘Frozen’ in more places than you see today,” including as an adaptation for Broadway, sequels and integrations into its theme parks, videogames and other opportunities.
“This has real franchise potential,” Iger said. “We expect to see not just new product but continued interest in this and continued impact on the bottom line for quite awhile. Its success speaks volumes on the future of animation at our company.”
“Frozen” has earned $865 million worldwide to date, and it continues to play well overseas, where it recently earned $45 million in Korea, the most for any Disney animated film there. It also opened in China this week and bows in Japan on March 15.
“Frozen”-themed toys and other merchandise also were top sellers at Disney Stores during the last three months of the year, the company said.
Iger said the strong performance of “Frozen,” and “Tangled” before that, is in part the result of purchasing Pixar Animation Studios.
“When we bought Pixar, the goal was to rejuvenate Disney Animation under new leadership,” Iger said, with John Lasseter now overseeing the films that come out of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. “Animation is the heart and soul of this company. It’s one of our most creative businesses.”