Princess Anna and Queen Elsa — and the power of sisterhood — thawed hearts around the globe in their triumphant return to the big screen.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen 2 opened to a record $127 million in the U.S. and a fiery $223.3 million overseas for a massive global launch of $350.2 million, well ahead of expectations and furthering the Disney empire’s domination on the global stage. And it easily avoiding the sequelitis curse that has downed other franchise installments in recent weeks.
In North America, the female-skewing Frozen 2 set a new animated record for the month of November — as well scoring the third-best domestic start of all time for any animated movie behind Incredibles 2 ($182.7 million) and Finding Dory ($135.1 million), not adjusted for inflation. It’s the first time an animated title opening outside of summer crossed the century mark in its start. Femmes made up nearly 60 percent of the audience; families, 79 percent.
Once again directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, the follow up also smashed numerous records offshore, including landing the best opening of all time for an animated pic in the U.K. ($17.8 million) and France ($13.4 million), as well as the highest ever for a Pixar or Disney Animation title in China ($53 million), Japan ($18.2 million), Germany ($14.9 million) and Spain ($5.8 million). And it boasted the third-biggest industry opening of any movie in South Korea ($31.5 million).
The opening performance of the sequel underscores the lasting influence of the original Frozen film. The 2013 family film, which opened on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, set a holiday animated record with a five-day domestic gross of $93 million, including $67 million for the three-day weekend. The music-infused film went on to earn an astounding $1.28 billion at the global box office to become the top-grossing animated film of all time, not adjusted for inflation.
The sequel earned an A- from audiences, compared to an A+ for Frozen; Despite critics seemingly not liking the new film as much as the first, that didn’t seem to diminish interest.
Frozen 2 went a long way in reviving the November box office, where ticket sales had tumbled 27 percent behind last year after such misses as Terminator: Dark Fate and Doctor Sleep.
In Frozen 2, Kristen Bell (Princess Anna) and Idina Menzel (Queen Elsa) reprise their beloved roles. Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Santino Fontana also return from the first film, while new castmembers include Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown.
Sony’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks as the late Fred Rogers, opened to $13.1 million. The film, earning an A CinemaScore, is counting on strong legs through Thanskgiving and throughout awards season.
Marielle Heller directed the critically acclaimed film, which isn’t a biopic or traditional biographical drama. Instead the feel-good movie traces the real-life friendship between journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) and Rogers.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood placed third behind Frozen and holdover holdover Ford v Ferrari, which drove to a sophomore gross of roughly $15 million range. Both Ford v Ferrari, from Fox/Disney, and Beautiful Day are competing for older audiences.
The Russo brothers-produced 21 Bridges, a cop thriller starring Chadwick Boseman, placed No. 4 with $9.1 million.
From STXfilms, MWM Studios and Huayi Brothers Pictures, the R-rated pic was challenged by mediocre reviews. Audiences liked it better, giving it a B+ CinemaScore.
At the specialty box office, Todd Haynes’ Dark Waters posted an opening weekend location average of $27,500 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins star in the well-reviewed whistleblower drama.
On Wednesday, two new films enter the Thanksgiving fray, Universal and Makready’s Queen & Slim and Lionsgate and MRC’s murder mystery Knives Out.
Directed by Rian Johnson, the star-studded Knives Out tested the waters on Friday and Saturday as it held sneak screenings in 936 cinemas across the country, grossing a promising $2 million. MRC shares a parent company, Valence Media, with The Hollywood Reporter.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.