During Disney‘s Q1 earnings call, CEO Bob Iger revealed that we’ll be returning to the frozen kingdom of Arendelle for a third time in the near future. Frozen III is officially in the works at the company as it looks to capitalize on some of its highest-grossing properties going forward. It’s one of three films revealed during the call, including Toy Story 5 and a Zootopia sequel.
Frozen III comes on the heels of the wildly successful sequel Frozen II which was released back in 2019. Compared to Toy Story 4 and Zootopia, Frozen II was the highest-grossing of them all, scoring a staggering $1.45 billion at the worldwide box office. Counting the original 2013 Frozen, the franchise itself has been worth $2.73 billion worldwide, and it has earned its fair share of accolades. The original scored Best Animated Feature at the 2014 Academy Awards and earned an award for its monster eight times platinum anthem “Let It Go” while the sequel earned a nomination for Best Original Song for its big hit “Into the Unknown.” The films have also featured a starry main cast with Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel playing princesses Anna and Elsa as well as Josh Gad as the snowman Olaf and Jonathan Groff as Kristoff.
It’s not too shocking to see Disney pivot in the direction of sequel films. While established properties already have an edge over new ideas, Disney has been on an especially cold streak when it comes to its original animated projects. Most recently, Strange World was a major bomb for the studio, grossing under $74 million worldwide leading to it being rushed over to Disney+ to save face. Reviews of the film were very lukewarm on it too, offering an unremarkable story despite being a hallmark of representation for the company. Before that, Encanto ran into box office troubles in 2021 as well and while it wasn’t nearly the disaster of Strange World, the $256 million it grossed worldwide with only $96 million stateside wasn’t ideal, even if it was hampered by the ongoing pandemic.
Frozen III Comes as Disney Faces Major Spending Cuts
These new sequels don’t come without some dour news for Disney. Following in the wake of Warner Bros. Discovery‘s massive cuts, Iger is pulling out the lopping shears himself in an effort to shed $3 billion in content costs as part of a $5.5 billion savings push. With some of those additional cuts surrounding operating costs and personnel, the conglomerate is also laying off 7,000 employees from throughout its various divisions. On a whole, Disney is undergoing a major restructuring, now dividing itself into three divisions – Entertainment, ESPN, and Parks.
Regarding Frozen III and the other new animated films, Iger said that more information on the projects will be coming soon and cited the move as Disney capitalizing on the beloved properties they own. The return to Arendelle would follow a second film which nearly saw the kingdom flooded after the destruction of the dam. With peace re-established between the Enchanted Forest and the kingdom, now looked over by Elsa and Anna respectively, there’s plenty of room for the new film to go as it explores their reign.
Stay tuned here at Collider for more on Disney‘s restructuring and the three new animated films announced today.