Do you know what it took to get Frozen out of the top ten domestic box office? A home video release. The weekend before the movie hit home video it was still number nine, and the weekend after it was number thirteen. That's four months in the top ten - basically it performed like big hit movies used to perform back in the days when home video windows cut short their lives at theaters. You could walk into most movie theaters 15 weeks after Frozen's initial release and still see it - not dollar theaters, not second run theaters, but real theaters and often in one of their better houses. Hell, the movie would have probably stayed in the top ten if the demand for it wasn't suddenly met at home.
Frozen is beloved, and those legs prove it. Movies don't last like that - especially in this day and age - unless people love them. And Frozen has been embraced in a way that is generation-defining. That love for the movie has propelled it to remarkable heights at the box office, and this weekend it became the highest grossing animated film of all time. And it's ten million dollars behind The Dark Knight at the international box office, and it just opened in Japan, so I suspect sisterly love is about to beat grimdark in the all-time record books. Hell, if I was Skyfall I'd be looking over my shoulder for Elsa and Anna.
This all makes me so happy. Box office isn't a reflection of quality, especially in a world where marketing tricks people into seeing horrible films opening weekend, but longevity speaks to the way Frozen, with its messages of tolerance and love, has connected with people. And anecdotally I hear all sorts of stories about how the movie has crossed over from the princess crowd and has been embraced fully by boys. Frozen's success isn't just positive for movies, it's positive for the culture at large. Everybody should be very happy about this.