Disney’s “Frozen” Is Extremely Hot in Japan – ディズニー映画「アナと雪の女王」日本で記録的ヒット


Disney’s animated film “Frozen” is a blockbuster in Japan. On January 27, 2015, the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan revealed the country’s 2014 annual box-office grosses, and “Frozen,” called “Anna and Snow Queen” in Japan, turned out to be the overwhelming box-office champion of the year. The animated musical single-handedly accounted for over 10% of all domestic box-office revenues.

Although “Frozen” is loved globally, its popularity in Japan is remarkable. After the US, Japan was the second largest market for the film globally. The musical-fantasy film earned $400.73 million in the US, and $249.03 million in Japan. South Korea came in third in international sales with$76.69 million, followed by $64.73 million in the UK, $48.27 million in Germany, and $48.24 million in China.

In Japan, related product sales such as DVDs, CDs, toys, and so on, have been hits as well. DVDs have sold over 3 million copies already. Tokyo Disneyland is holding a special event focusing on the movie from January to March of 2015. There is speculation that Tokyo Disneyland will introduce a new Frozen-themed attraction during a planned large-scale renovation in 2017.

The film’s success in Japan is due to a mix of factors. Disney has historically enjoyed success in Japan. Disney’s first overseas theme park, Tokyo Disneyland, has been a continued success, leading to the opening of Tokyo DisneySea, the second Disney attraction park in Japan, in 2001. The two resorts attracted 31.29 million guests in 2013. In addition, Disney’s “localization” strategy for “Frozen” worked. The dubbed versions of the movie’s songs are sung by Japanese popular singers with broad commercial appeal. Disney also tried a female-targeted promotion strategy in Japan. Some think that the girl-power themes in “Frozen” might be resonating with Japanese women’s calls for more social advancement, as the government also officially works on a women’s empowerment policy.

Currently, another Disney animation, “Big Hero 6,” which features a number of Japanese cultural themes, is being screened in Japan, and could prove to be the next big success for Disney in its largest foreign market.