The 3D-animated musical, which launched Friday exclusively at the El Capitan in Hollywood, joins its toon brethren such as “Toy Story 2” and “The Princess and the Frog” with one of the industry’s largest opening location averages. “Frozen” now has the seventh-largest per-screen average, behind “Hercules,” which averaged nearly $250,000 from one location in 1997.
Though the average is an impressive one, there are a few factors to consider: Firstly, tickets for the El Cap exclusive cost $16 for adults and $13 for children (3-11), while auds wanting V.I.P. admission shelled out $26 per ticket. Also, Disney packaged the early release with an optional breakfast for an additional cost.
It is difficult to gauge the impact the early release will have on the film’s nationwide release on Wednesday. Word-of-mouth already is solid, thanks to strong reviews, as well as a light-and-fluffy marketing campaign.
The toon, which features the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, looks to have an ice-cold grip on the family market being one of only a few holiday films directly targeted to parents and kids. That said, there are a few pics bowing on or around Christmastime that look to enlarge the family mold.
In 2009, Disney released 2D hand-drawn toon “The Princess and the Frog” similarly for a two-screen exclusive launch over Thanksgiving. That film scored the third-highest debut average and went on to gross $24 million during its first outing in wide release two weeks later. “Frozen” will see a much larger opening gross — likely around $70 million in five days.
Outside animated fare, the Weinstein Co.’s “The Master,” which grossed only $16 million domestically last year, holds the largest opening per-screen average for a traditional live-action release, with $147,262 from five locations.
Disney’s “The Lion King” still is the undisputed opening per-screen champ, with its colossal nearly $800,000 average from two debut locations.
Disney’s Opening Per-Cred
The Mouse House has 8 out of 10 highest debut per-screen averages.
Film (Original theatrical release): Opening average; Location(s)
- The Lion King (1994): $793,377; 2
- Pocahontas (1995): $448,285; 6
- The Princess and the Frog (2009): $393,095; 2
- Toy Story 2 (1999): $300,163; 1
- A Bug’s Life (1998): $291,121; 1
- Hercules (1997): $249,567; 1
- Frozen (2013): $237,606*; 1
- Red State (2011): $204,230; 1
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001): $164,505; 2
- The Master (2012): $147,262; 5
*based on estimate