NEW YORK — Frozen is the biggest hit in new York and Los Angeles as the “Star Wars” season opens worldwide.
The Walt Disney Company is predicting $9 billion in ticket sales and $4.8 billion in grosses in its opening weekend in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
That is $1.6 billion more than last year’s record-breaking opening of “The Force Awakens,” which drew $7.8 million from more than 50 markets.
Disney said the total for “Frozen” will top the $6.5 billion in revenue it earned for the entire first “Star War” movie trilogy.
It is already on track to surpass that total, and it is likely to surpass “Fantastic Four” on the worldwide chart in the coming days.
“Frozen,” which opens Sunday, has earned $1 billion from a total of 902 markets and counting.
It opened in more than 100 countries.
On Sunday, “Fifty Shades of Grey” grossed $4 million from 1,971 theaters, bringing its domestic total to $68 million.
“Star Trek Beyond” was the No. 1 film in that market.
In the UK, “Wonder Woman” was No. 3 with $2.5 million.
It was No, 4 in Brazil, No. 5 in France, No., 7 in the U.K., No. 8 in Mexico, No, 9 in Germany and No. 10 in Australia.
Also, “The Jungle Book” was a surprise No. 2 in the UK and No 3 in the USA.
While Disney said it had a “major hand in” its record-setting success in China and Hong Kong, it has made no comment on the success of the movie in the rest of the world.
Disney has already released “Festival of Lights” in London and Hongkong, but it is not expected to open in Los Angeles until next week.
As a result, the number of people in China watching “Frost” in cinemas is expected to increase from 4 million to 5 million by the end of the week.
Disney said it is spending more than $300 million on advertising in China.
The company said that spending is expected this year to reach $3.2 billion.
New York is expected next week to see its first Frozen movie.
Disney’s “Faces Places” campaign is expected for a nationwide rollout in Los Angles.
This article was originally published on The Globe & Mail at 12:08 p.m.
EST and updated at 2:12 p.mp, Saturday, July 23, 2018.