Nine weeks after its theatrical release, Disney’s Frozen has earned more than $763.4 million worldwide at the box office, which is a heck of a happy ending. But the phenom isn’t over yet. The animated musical about an ice princess run amok just scored two Oscar nominations (for best song and best animated feature), and the soundtrack has skated to the top of the Billboard album chart for the second straight week, after dethroning pop’s own royalty Beyoncé. With more than 589,000 copies sold, Frozen is the first animated Disney soundtrack to hit No. 1 since 1995’s Pocahontas — and the first to stay on top for multiple weeks since The Lion King. Says director Jennifer Lee, “It’s been a few generations since we’ve had a musical like this.”
It’s not just the soundtrack that’s snowballed. Older fans have taken over YouTube and Tumblr with parodies, fan fiction, and viral videos of their toddlers belting the movie’s tunes. Meanwhile, Frozen merchandise has become the top property at Disney stores in North America (limited-edition Anna and Elsa dolls sold out online in 45 minutes), the novelization has spent seven weeks on a New York Times children’s best-seller list, and an iPad virtual storybook is currently the No. 2 paid entertainment app in the App Store. Naturally, Disney is busy conjuring even more Frozen for fans: Theme parks are already adding movie-themed attractions, and a Broadway stage production is in early development. Disney hasn’t announced plans for a sequel yet, but Frozen is showing major franchise potential.
“We hear so many stories of people using the word obsessed,” says composer Robert Lopez, who penned the movie’s music and lyrics with wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Wicked and Rent star Idina Menzel, who performs the Oscar-nominated showstopper “Let It Go,” notes that Frozen actually caught on faster than her previous musical blockbusters. “This was successful right out of the box,” she says. “Now for theater composers to be running in the same circles as a Beyoncé album? It’s a dream.”