Disney's 'Frozen 2' to heat up retail sales this holiday season

Licensing of entertainment and movie characters including 'Frozen' and its stars hit $122.7B in retail sales in 2018

Retailers won’t let "Frozen" go.

The sequel for Disney's hit animated film "Frozen 2" officially opens Friday and is forecast to bring in a whopping $100M dollars domestically opening weekend. The original "Frozen" movie grossed more than $1 billion worldwide in 2013. The first trailer for the sequel dropped in February and became the most viewed animated trailer of all time, with an astonishing 116.4 million views in just 24 hours.

With Elsa, Anna, and the gang back on the big screen – retailers are banking on the box office hit with an avalanche of toys, clothing, shoes and lifestyle-related merchandise for "Frozen" fans of all ages.

Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven in "Frozen 2." (Disney)

Disney licenses its characters like Elsa, Anna and Olaf to third-party manufacturers to make toys, clothing, makeup and accessories. In 2018, the licensing segment of entertainment and characters – which includes "Frozen" and its stars – hit $122.7 billion in retail sales globally, up from $107.2 billion in 2015, according to Licensing International's Annual Global Licensing Survey. That category accounted for 44 percent of the global retail sales, which hit $280.3 billion in 2018.

Disney Frozen Ultimate Arendelle Castle Playset $199.99. (Hasbro). 

Marty Brochstein, senior vice president at Licensing International, says consumers can expect product roll-outs from lifestyle and luxury categories ahead of the film launch.

"Everybody in the entire retail food chain is ready for it."

- Marty Brochstein, Senior VP Licensing International

There are more than 152 "Frozen 2" Black Friday deals, including doorbusters at Walmart and Target, among others, according to bargain site Slickdeals, which has discounts listed from more than 65 retailers. In the toy department, Hasbro rolled out its Disney Frozen Ultimate Arendelle Castle Playset ($199.99), a doll playset that’s 4 feet tall; and singing Anna and Elsa dolls that feature a clip of an original song from the movie ($24.99) each. And high-end department stores are decking their halls to look like the fictional kingdom Arendelle.

Singing Elsa doll $24.99. (Hasbro)

Saks Fifth Avenue created a winter wonderland window display featuring characters from "Frozen 2" to be unveiled Nov. 25 along with a live performance by Idina Menzel, who voices the movie character Elsa. The event will also be livestreamed for fans to watch at home. And in stores, adult super fans can shop "Frozen 2" inspired gifts like a $1,800 yellow gold diamond wheat sheaf pendant bracelet from designer Roberto Coin's Disney Frozen 2 jewelry collaboration.

Disney's Frozen 2 x Roberto Coin 18K Yellow Gold & Diamond Wheat Sheaf Pendant Bracelet $1,800 (Saks Fifth Avenue)

The movie’s influence if also spilling over in the lifestyle department this year. Water bottle retailer Swell is selling a $35 stainless water bottle featuring a character from the movie; Colourpop Cosmetics created a makeup collection inspired by the film’s leading heroines with silver, gold and glacier-colored eye shadow pallets and lipsticks ranging from $8 to $15. And luxury winter boot brand Sorel also partnered with Disney to launch a "Frozen 2"-themed line of winter boots in metallic silver adorned with winter snowflakes for adults for upward of $185 for adults and $105 for kids.

Disney x SOREL Women’s Tofino Frozen 2 Boot. $185 (Sorel) 

Converse has a line of Elsa-clad sneakers for $64.99.

Converse x Frozen 2 Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Anna & Elsa Sneaker $64.99 (Converse). 


"The first movie bought a huge demand for the product and it never really slowed down. As 'Frozen 2' comes out, there’s a new generation of kids that are getting into the movie, and the dolls and characters," Adrienne Appell, senior director for strategic communications at The Toy Association, said.

People are really excited, and it’s not just the core audience of kids that want to see the movie. You have a lot of adult fans and parents who are excited for it to come out, and you’re seeing other lifestyle brands launch products like Sorel boots and Chuck Taylors.

- Adrienne Appell, The Toy Association

Anna and Elsa costumes sold more than three million units in 2014, one year after the film came out, and the National Retail Federation named dolls from the Disney movie as some of its top toys for 2014, beating out Barbie as the top toy for girls. "Frozen" was so successful in the retail department, some critics said it "froze out" other Disney licenses from getting a piece of the sales actions.

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HAS HASBRO INC. 60.13 +0.65 +1.09%

"Once it opened and all of a sudden all the retailers were calling their suppliers saying, 'get me 'Frozen' stuff,' and it wasn't to be had because Disney hadn't pushed it particularly hard. Disney spent the next year and a half playing catchup. This time all the ducks are in a row," Brochstein said.