After a paltry holiday box office last year, Disney is betting on the massive “Frozen” and “Star Wars” franchises to score big in 2019.
On Wednesday, the company dropped its first teaser trailer for “Frozen 2,” the highly anticipated sequel to the 2013 hit.
Audiences have been patiently awaiting the sequel’s release since the voice actors of Anna and Olaf, Kristen Bell and Josh Gad, first tweeted about it in 2017.
“Frozen” was a breakout hit for Disney Animation, garnering more than $400 million at the domestic box office.
The film, which introduced fans to characters such as Olaf the snowman, Princess Anna and Queen Elsa, went on to earn more than $1.2 billion worldwide at the box office and win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature film in 2014.
With the success of sequels such as “Finding Dory,” which garnered about $1.03 billion at the box office in 2016, it’s no surprise Disney was keen to bring the cast of “Frozen” back to the big screen.
Watch it here:
In addition to “Frozen 2,” moviegoers can expect to see the yet-unnamed “Star Wars: Episode IX,” the final film in Lucasfilm’s most recent “Star Wars” trilogy, in theaters in December 2019.
The two films are expected to dominate the holiday box office, something Disney desperately needs after a lukewarm showing in 2018.
Last year, Disney released “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Mary Poppins Returns” during its fiscal first quarter. The company racked up $388 million in domestic box office grosses, according to data from Comscore.
In 2017, Disney released “Coco,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “The Last Jedi” during the same time period. Together the three films made more than $1 billion at the box office in North America.
“Frozen 2” and “Star Wars: Episode IX” will be the only films released by Disney during the quarter ending Dec. 31. In previous years, it has released three films. This year’s holiday release schedule shows just how confident the company is in the two tentpole franchises.
“Star Wars” films were traditionally released in May before Disney bought Lucasfilm. Since then, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” have all dominated the late December box office in their respective release years.
“The Force Awakens,” released in 2015, earned more than $2.06 billion at the global box office, making it the third-highest grossing movie in history, just behind “Avatar” and “Titanic.” Two years later the next installment in the trilogy, “The Last Jedi,” garnered more than $1.3 billion. “Rogue One,” a standalone film separate from the main saga, racked up just over $1 billion.
The “Star Wars” franchise, however, needs a rebound of its own. “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” released in May 2018, marked the first major financial disappointment in the franchise, scoring less than $400 million in global grosses, according to Box Office Mojo. The other three Disney “Star Wars” films eclipsed that total in North America alone.
Although it is too early to predict exactly what the opening weekend takes will be for either “Frozen 2” or “Star Wars: Episode IX,” if history is any indicator, Disney can expect a solid run for both films.
“Frozen” hauled in $67 million during its opening weekend. “The Force Awakens” took in $247 million, while “The Last Jedi” garnered $220 million.