In the tradition of releasing its films early for limited engagements, Disney announced Monday that it will launch its 53rd animated feature, “Frozen,” five days before the Nov. 27 nationwide release at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles.
The exclusive run starts Nov. 22, with five showtimes each day; the El Cap engagement, which runs through Jan. 5, also will feature ice-carving performances and on-stage appearances by characters Anna and Elsa before the movie.
“The whole company is incredibly excited about ‘Frozen’ and can’t wait to share it with audiences this Thanksgiving,” said Disney distribution exec Dave Hollis.
The limited start for “Frozen” mirrors what Disney had done in the past with its hand-drawn animation events (usually at the El Cap or formerly at Radio City Music Hall in New York), a handful of which hold the industry’s highest opening per-screen averages, including “The Lion King,” “Pocahontas” and “The Princess and the Frog.”
“Frozen,” which is loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson story, “The Snow Queen,” features voice performances from Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad. The film is directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan”) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, “Wreck-It Ralph”), with songs by “The Book of Mormon” scribe Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Disney recently released a trailer for the film here in the U.S., a sillier cut of the international trailer which bowed previously and was criticized by Disney fans.
The Mouse clearly is trying to duplicate the success it had with “Tangled” in 2010 by marketing “Frozen” more so to boys; whereas, girls already are sold on the concept. The strategy worked. “Tangled” defied industry naysayers, grossing a whopping nearly $600 million worldwide.