Two days after its panel at Comic-Con, ABC’s Once Upon A Time unveiled two more actors joining the series for its Frozen-themed storyline. Veteran character actor John Rhys-Davies, known for roles in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Raiders Of The Lost Ark, will voice Pabbie the Troll King, and Tyler Jacob Moore (Shameless, GCB) will play the scheming Prince Hans. OUAT producer Adam Horowitz tweeted the news of both castings today. At the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday, the crowd was shown a clip of OUAT’s new season with Frozen characters Elsa and Anna (Georgina Haig and Elizabeth Lail) leaving flowers at the grave of their parents. The ensemble fantasy series returns for Season 4 on September 28.
Frozen, already the all-time animation box-office champ and an Oscar winner, has added another jewel to its icy crown: Rentrak says the Walt Disney Animation feature topped the charts for the first half of 2014 in digital movie purchases and rentals on VOD and electronic sellthrough. Nearly all the other films in the top 10 were Oscar nominees too, even the Jackass-produced comedy Bad Grandpa, which snagged a nomination for best makeup and hairstyling. It appears everyone spent that very chilly winter of 2014 catching up on the Oscar contenders they didn’t watch in theaters.
There is one important caveat to this list, however: It does not include any films from NBCUniversal, nor from indie studios (whatever size studio we count Lionsgate as these days, its Hunger Games sequel made the list at a not-that-surprising No. 2). Rentrak said that though it couldn’t include individual Universal films for the list, the studio’s products as a whole were No. 1 for both overall transactions and retail revenue during the period, which ran from the week of January 5 to June 29.
The Not-Very-Nice Little Witch That Could keeps enchanting audiences around the globe, as Disney’s ‘Maleficent‘ crossed the $700 million mark in global box office, Disney distribution execs said. It’s the studio’s second 2014 release to cross that high mark (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, box office champ for the first half of 2014, is the other).
Since its U.S. release on May 30, the film has tallied $228.8M domestically. Overseas, it has been extremely strong, no doubt helped by star Angelina Jolie‘s global visibility and appeal. The overall international gross has hit $471.8M so far, with big numbers out of China, Mexico, Russia and Brazil. Japan, which has a habit of keeping late-arriving Disney films in theaters for many lucrative weeks (see what happened with Frozen earlier in the year before Maleficent dethroned it), just debuted the film on July 5. Since then, it’s been No. 1 for three straight weekends, pulling in $32.7M already.
The studio said Maleficent is the year’s highest-grossing film based on an original story, (though some may quibble, given the film’s roots in Disney animated classic Sleeping Beauty). It’s also Jolie’s highest-grossing live-action film ever, whether measured by domestic, international and global box office.
Big Hero 6 faces a slippery slope trying to surpass last year’s animated entry from Disney Animation, the all-time toon box-office champ Frozen. But this tale set a couple of decades in the future in “San Fransokyo” looks promising enough, even if it doesn’t have a can’t-miss soundtrack with a song by that Adele Dazeem girl. It features, well, a creepy guy in a kabuki mask telepathically controlling a horde of microbots through a cranial implant, and the hip kids and lumpy macrobot trying to stop his apparently evil plan. Hey, it could happen. The trailer is below, and the film is set for a November 7 debut. Let us know what you think:
Update: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $52M In China Weekend; ‘Dragon 2′ Fires Up $30M; And How’s ‘Tammy’?; ‘Maleficent’ Dethrones ‘Frozen’ In Japan; More
5TH UPDATE, TUESDAY AM: Paramount came in with numbers late on Monday evening showing a slight bump in the overseas cume for Transformers: Age Of Extinction‘s 2nd frame. It was worth to $96.6M, the studio said, although the total overseas figure to date was unchanged at $400.9M. China‘s gross lifted to $52M from the previous $50.9M estimate. That was good for a total box office in the market through Sunday of $212.8M. There is some confusion over the tally, however, as local websites are reporting it had $222.74M through Sunday. That would push it past Avatar as the highest-grossing movie ever in China. We’re working to get the exact figures nailed down. All other figures for TAOE are updated in the copy below.
4th UPDATE, MONDAY, 4:00 PM PT: Paramount Pictures is the only studio that has not reported, and it has, of course, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, which is pounding it way across international markets. So we have finals for everything but the No. 1 pic internationally. The studio is still on holiday in the states. But Sony, Disney, Fox, Warner Bros and Universal have weighed in with updated numbers for their international releases this weekend.
The titles we have final updates for include 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, Maleficent, Frozen, The Fault In Our Stars, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Rio 2, The Other Woman, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Edge …
Idina Menzel continues to show star-power, with the release of the original Broadway cast album of If/Then opening on the Billboard 200 chart at number 19. It’s the best debut since the release of the cast album of Rent in 1996 — which also starred Menzel. That Pulitzer Prize-winning show also debuted at number 19, though the comparative numbers are revealing bout the state of the music industry: Rent sold 43,000 albums to achieve that number, while If/Then had to move only 15,000 units to achieve the same ranking, for the week ending June 8, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Menzel, the voice of Elsa and the hit song “Let It Go” from Disney‘s blockbuster Frozen, was a Tony nominee for If/Then (as she was for Rent) and won a huge following for her Tony-winning portrayal of green-visaged Elphaba in the original 2004 Broadway cast of Wicked (and that time, she won the Tony). The soundtrack to Frozen remains 2014′s top-selling album, with 2.6 million sold this year, of its 2.9 million to date according to Billboard.
Frozen, Disney’s animated family film just keeps breaking box office records. After this weekend with the remaining international territories all in, it has just iced the studio’s own Iron Man 3 to become the fifth highest-grossing film of all time globally. Frozen‘s gross now is a whopping $1.219B (yes, as in billion) compared to Disney/Marvel‘s Iron Man 3‘s $1.215B.
Disney and the filmmakers have the Japanese, in large part, to thank as it has been been sitting in the No. 1 post in the Land of the Rising Sun for 11 straight weekends to take in an incredible $193.7M to date. It is the No. 4 film of all time in Japan and Disney’s largest grosser of all time in the country (live action and animation, including Pixar). It is the No. 3 Western movie, only behind James Cameron’s Titanic and Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
This weekend, Frozen pulled in another $6.7M internationally to raise its total international cume to $818.7M. It took that $6.7M gross from one territory … Japan. In addition, it has surpassed two local animated favs — Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke, both from the revered animation giant Hayao Miyazaki.
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, who oversees worldwide operations for the company, has extended his contract for another four years to 2018. He was named chairman of the studio on May 31, 2012, after a long stint as the chairman of Warner Bros, and his first day at Disney was June 11, 2012. He oversees production, distribution, and marketing for live-action and animated films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, as well as marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released under the Touchstone Pictures banner. He also oversees Disney’s music and theatrical groups.
Under his tutelage, the studio has been doing incredibly well. For the first three months of the year, the studio reported net income of $1.92B, an increase of 26.7% vs. the same period last year, on revenues of $11.65B (that’s up 10.4%). In fact, it topped analysts’ forecasts. The movie studio was the hero of the first quarter, with revenues up 35% to $1.8B and operating income up 302% to $475M. The company benefited not only from a $1.19B worldwide box office take for its sweet animated family film Frozen but also reported stellar sales in home entertainment for the pic. Thor: The Dark World also was a box office behemoth, with $644M worldwide, and a home entertainment winner. The success of Frozen has spawned talk of a Broadway show. Theme parks also exceeded analyst predictions with up 8% to $3.56B and operating income up 19% to $457M. The Walt Disney Studios set a company record for reaching $1B internationally in mid-April, thanks mostly to those films, and also $500M domestically on April 27 — becoming the first studio to do so in 2014.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom take apart the just-announced deal by Discovery and Liberty Global to buy All3Media for $930 million and look at who might be next in line as the global buying spree in TV production companies continues. They also catch up on still more news ahead of next week’s opening of the Cannes Film Festival, with pictures involving Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Aniston and Elisabeth Moss, even as a squad of aging Expendables plans to roll onto the Croisette; look at a U.S. production with a good reason besides tax incentives to shoot in London; and a kingly casting for the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall.
UPDATE: Will CEO Bob Iger ever stop talking about Frozen? Not for a long time, it seems. He told analysts in a conference call that the hit animated film recently accounted for nine of the 10 top selling items at Disney stores. The company is “taking a number of steps to increase the characters’ presence in the parks” and will also appear in “other forms of story telling” including publishing and interactive. (Disney already announced its plan to take Frozen to Broadway.) The success story supported his theme that Disney’s so-called branded movies provide it with a rich film pipeline. That includes Star Wars. “It’s amazing what pent up demand there is.” Disney will feed it with at least three spin off films.
PREVIOUS, 1:19 PM: Shares are up slightly in post-market trading after the entertainment giant topped Wall Street earnings expectations, especially at the movie studio and theme parks. Disney reported net income of $1.92B for the first three months of the year, +26.7% vs the period last year, on revenues of $11.65B, +10.4%. Analysts expected the top line to come in at $11.24B. Earnings at $1.11 a share also topped forecasts for 96 cents. Cable networks revenues of $3.63B, +5%, were a shade lower than the consensus expectations but operating income increased 15% to $1.97B. The unit’s driver, ESPN, saw an increase in affiliate fees, and lower production costs, offsetting a drop in ad revenue. Sales at the ABC broadcasting operation were essentially flat at $1.50B but operating income was up 15% to $159M as retransmission consent fees compensated for a drop in primetime ad revenues. The Studio was the hero of the quarter with revenues +35% to $1.80B and operating income +302% to $475M. The company says that it benefited from home entertainment sales for Frozen and Thor: The Dark World as well as theatrical sales for Frozen. Theme parks also exceeded forecasts with revenue +8% to $3.56B and operating income +19% to $457M.
EXCLUSIVE: The leader of Hollywood’s animation union says some of his members have been frozen out of a generous bonus paid to workers at Disney Animation Studios as thanks for the success of the blockbuster animated film Frozen. The Oscar-winning film, which has taken in more than $1 billion worldwide, is the highest-grossing animated movie of all time. “Disney paid bonuses to everyone who worked on Frozen except for those who were laid off after the film was completed,” said Steve Hulett, business representative of IATSE Animation Guild Local 839. “I’ve heard they got 10 weeks of their weekly pay as a bonus. Everyone at the facility got the bonus, even if they didn’t work on it. Some of my people worked on the whole picture to the very end and then they were laid off, and they’re not getting the bonus. It just doesn’t seem right.” A studio source confirmed that “eligible, current Walt Disney Animation Studios employees were given a studio bonus.”
Disney also gave bonuses to the studio’s employees after the success of Wreck-It Ralph. A Frozen animator who did not receive a bonus this time said he got a generous bonus after Wreck-It Ralph even though he didn’t work on that film. He said he considered it a good-will profit sharing gesture on behalf of the studio for all current employees.
That’s up just 2 cents vs the same period in 2013, and down from $8.35 in Q4 according to domestic numbers out this morning from the National Association of Theater Owners. The drop from the end of the year mostly reflects the fact that theaters in Q1 were filled with kids’ films including Frozen, Mr. Peabody And Sherman, and The Lego Movie. They typically drive the ticket averages down because they include a lot of low-priced children’s tickets and matinees. Remember that several factors influence the average price — including how many people pay a premium to see a film in 3D or on an IMAX screen. The Q4 number included 3D hits with Warner Bros’ Gravity (80% of its domestic gross came from 3D venues) and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, and Disney’s Thor: The Dark World. The quarter also had several popular films targeted to adults including Paramount’s The Wolf Of Wall Street and Sony’s American Hustle. The average outlay for a movie ticket in 2013 was $8.13.
Based on the phenomenal grosses from Frozen and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Disney (which crossed $1BM worldwide earlier this month) now can boast that it crossed $1B internationally in record time. Frozen has just surpassed Ice Age 4 to become the worldwide leader as the highest-grossing animated film of all time in international markets with a total tally of $729.3M. In comparison, Ice Age: Continental Drift grossed $715.9M in 2012. In addition, Frozen is hovering at $400M domestically and should reach that watermark next weekend. It just skated across the $100M in Japan while Captain America 2 opened there as its final territory in its international run. Disney boasts the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the country now with Frozen leading the way.
So far this year, the studio also commands the top two positions internationally of all films in the marketplace … Frozen is No. 1 with $462M and Captain America is $385.1M for the second spot. To show the dominance internationally, the No. three movie – The Wolf of Wall Street — is $122.6M behind the Cap.
Marvel’s Captain America 2 has now grossed over $500M. In China alone, it is on the verge of passing $100 million. The sequel, 199% ahead of what the first installment did in its full run of $194M, has already passed the total international box office cumes for Iron Man 2 ($312M) and Iron Man ($267M) as well as Thor ($268M) and it did so in four weeks. In Japan, it grossed $2M, more than doubling the opening weekend of the first installment. It is still No. 1 in Korea four weeks running, too.
ASIFA-Hollywood has set Saturday, January 31, for its 42nd annual Annie Awards. The ceremony, run by the International Animated Film Society, will be held for a sixth consecutive year at UCLA’s Royce Hall. This year, Disney’s Frozen won a leading five Annies including Best Feature on its way to winning the Animated Feature Oscar.
UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘The Winter Soldier’ Plants $39.2M Flag In China, Crosses $200M Overseas; Disney Passes $1B Global; ‘Rio 2′ Flies To $55.4M; ‘Noah’ Sails Past $100M; ‘Divergent’ Cumes $22.4M; More
Highlights: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) bests Iron Man 3 China bow with $39.2M; Frozen (DIS) ices competition in Japan with $75.1M total, studio passes $1B in global box office; Rio 2 (FOX) lifts to $55.5M cume on extra $22.2M; Noah (PAR) builds to $106.2M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) adds $10.9M in 44 markets; Spanish Affairs (UNI) is Spain’s top local-lingo pic ever…
3RD UPDATE, SUNDAY 3 PM PT: Led by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this weekend was a big 34% boost on the same frame last year when G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Croods and Chinese romantic comedy Finding Mr Right were the top three earners. This frame also repped a 19% jump on last weekend. There are no major new wide releases set for next week, although Divergent will continue its overseas rollout hitting Germany, Russia, France and Australia, while Rio 2 takes flight not only in the U.S., but notably lands in China, France and Mexico.
2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY 12:46 PM PT: Concurrent with its massive domestic opening (see Anita Busch’s box office report here), Captain America: The Winter Soldier continued its huge international run, and, with the help of Frozen, pushed Disney past the $1B global box office threshold. The estimated 2014 cume to date for the studio is $1,211M. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, The Winter Soldier added a massive $107.1M this weekend overseas for an international cume to …
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom look at whether Russia is likely to go ahead with a threatened cap on Western films in the wake of the Crimea crisis, two more deals affecting indie TV producers, update from Johnny Depp’s China tour into Transcendence, and mark the naming of another female filmmaker as a jury president at the Cannes Film Festival.
We’ll also take our weekly look at the international box office, led by the all-time box office record set by Frozen, whether The Lego Movie can ever catch up and big international debuts for the sequels to Captain America and Rio.
As Frozen skated its way into Japan on March 14, the question began to loom larger and larger: Could the movie break Toy Story 3‘s $1,063,171,911 in worldwide box office to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time? When Bob Iger predicted it would happen, the reality of such a possibility crystalized further. And now, in its 19th international frame, the two-time Oscar winner has overtaken Disney’s TS3, earning $1,072,402,000 to win the crown of highest-grossing global animated release, ever. It’s also raced ahead of another Disney movie, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, to make it to No. 10 on the all-time worldwide box office chart. Ironically, the new notch comes one week after Frozen fell out of the domestic Top 10 for the first time during its long run.
We are down to the nitty gritty on Deadline’s search for 2013’s Most Valuable Blockbuster. This is the second of our two showdowns today. Fueled by the numbers furnished by our insiders, we’ll find out just how profitable a movie really is.
TODAY’S OTHER FINAL FOUR MATCHUP
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
The Matchup: The battle of the year’s biggest animation film hits pits the year’s second-highest global gross film Frozen against Universal and Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment’s hit Despicable Me 2, the year’s third-highest global grossing film. To get here, Frozen beat The Great Gatsby and Monsters University, while Despicable Me 2 beat Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6.
The Box Score: What the numbers say.
The Bottom Line: This is tougher than the other Final Four matchup — and that’s saying something.
The final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the fourth of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal the numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.
The Matchup: Another intramural battle, this time at Disney. Monsters University, which beat another Disney film, Thor: The Dark World, in Round 1, turned in the seventh-highest domestic gross of 2013 films, and was the sixth-highest-grossing film offshore. Its $82 million opening was the second biggest for a Pixar film, was the second largest among G-rated films, and fifth largest for animated films all time. Frozen’s opening was obscured a bit by the record-breaking Thanksgiving weekend opening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but it too broke existing records for that holiday. And it just kept going, outpacing The Hobbit sequel and winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and another for Best Original Song in “Let It Go.” Its $1.03 billion gross made it the second highest for the year. It handily bested The Great Gatsby in Round 1.
The Box Score: Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them.
The Bottom Line: Monsters University didn’t do as well as predecessor Monsters, Inc. on the domestic front, but the film …