2013 left an incandescent mark for Disney’s economical future thanks to Frozen. The well-respected and highly esteemed company, Walt Disney Pictures, owns the Scandinavian influenced movie. The man himself, Walt Disney, and Roy E. Disney founded Walt Disney Pictures in 1923. It is an American film production company and division of the Walt Disney Studios. The Walt Disney Company is the second largest conglomerate in the world – giving the title of second largest film Production Company to Walt Disney Studios.
The movie Frozen was released on November 10th, 2013 in the United States and was later made public to the citizens of the United Kingdom in December 2013. It is Disney’s 53rd animated feature and is the highest grossing animated film of all time. With a budget of $150 million provided by Walt Disney Pictures, Frozen commemorates itself as the fifth highest grossest film of all time as well as the highest grossing film of 2013. The film topped the UK Box Office twice – firstly on its initial release and then for its re-release in cinemas in 2014. Later that year, the movie won two Academy Awards – Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (“Let It Go”). Its Domestic Growth (America) was charted at $400,738,009, while its Worldwide Gross marked at $1,274,234,980. The profit for the film was $400 million.
After the immaculate debut of Frozen, an exhibition followed. The exhibition was first released on December 8th, 2014 on around 500 screens. It made £4.7 million in its opening weekend and was top of the UK box office. From a business to consumer standpoint, the 101st day of release marks the $1 billion dollar mark. IMDb rated it a 7.6 out of 10 and it surpassed the 80% mark from the highly critical – Rotten Tomatoes. Consumers have also provided a meaning for Common Sense Media to give the film a 5 out of 5. The movie is also available on DVD and Blu-Ray. It was released on the 31st of March in 2014 and sold over 500,000 copies in the first few days. By the end of the first three weeks of release, it had sold 1.45 million units – making it the biggest selling movie title of 2014. Due to the flourishing Digital Revolution, digital convergence with Frozen was soon involved. The movie was made available on Febraury 25th, 2014 for digital download via Google Play, Amazon Video, and the iTunes Store – meaning iPads, Tablets, and iPhones everywhere.
While Walt Disney Pictures has provided an animated well-oiled machine, it is important to note the factors behind its production. With every film or television programme comes research and strategies. Risk Reduction strategies is quintessential within every television and film related company. Films can fall flat, films can disappoint, sometimes there is no vested interest, and it varies. One must be able to understand the many facets, including and not limited to repetition and formats, audience research, and more.
The concept behind repetition and formats is to capitalize on characters, storylines and formats that have already worked successfully with the target audience. Themes for example are crucial to not just books, but are the fundamental building blocks for movies as well. With any movie, love is either a minute or major theme. Disney has exemplified love as a theme through its prior animated productions as well. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella has maintained the theme in the duration of the animated films. There is also the theme of adventure, which has made an unforgettable mark on Mulan and Aladdin. A theme that pertains to all animated films as per Disney is the idea of emotion. Unlike the concept of emotion, the theme of loss and grief as well as sibling relationships has created its own niche for Frozen. Veering away from themes, formats are important. Animation is popular for old Disney fairytales, thus Disney decided to maintain the magic behind the animation for Frozen – based off of the book “Snow Queen”. Within that format are the characters. Disney’s pattern has shown pretty and handsome characters, princes, knights in shining armor, cute and tiny protagonists and antagonists.
Another aspect behind Risk Reduction Strategies is Audience Research. Market research affirms content that is crucial and useful for viewers. YouTube videos come into play and Frozen joining the cast of “Once Upon a Time” is available. Disney Channel’s music video with 26 other pop stars singing “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” has exemplified the solidity of marketing and audience research. With this market research, Disney is able to determine whether or not it can make a bigger profit through the sales of more related items. Disney was able to do this was toys and apparel. Mattel and Jakks Pacific (Forbes, 2014) reported that sales received a boost in recent quarterly reports from the few “Frozen” goods available on the market. Aside from a marketing standpoint, Disney notes that they use a female protagonist to capture young girls’ and their parents’ hearts and money time and time again.
Marketing and Publicity is viable for Frozen. The marketing and promotion for Frozen is originally set to be at its peak because of its original association with Disney. Advertising began June 18th, 2013 – this day marks the launch of its first teaser trailer and it immediately received positive feedback. “So much of this is relied on the culture of anticipation and it is just to make that huge push to justify what success looks like with each production” (The Business of Showing, 2015). The official trailer was then dropped on September 16th, 2013. With the success of the film, Disney Theme Parks got involved – producing meet and greets, creating an economy of scope. Publicity included dress ups and emulations of characters. Disney has also included interviews with the voice actors and actresses via their very own, Radio Disney, “the point is to create a virtual editorial road show – it aids in creating a film you cannot miss” (The Business of Showing, 2015). The marketing behind toys and apparel was executed on November 6th, when Disney put forth their production of merchandise to be sold at Disney Stores and other retailers. This included and was not limited to clothes, costumes, and toys. In 2014, The Walt Disney Company amassed around $48 billion due to the success of Frozen. It is still commercially exploited and continues to earn money to date through special sing along screenings. Frozen has also made a special screening appearance at Prince Charles’ theater.
“Marketing and publicity have the same aim – namely to make consumers/readers aware of the books and persuade them to buy them; the only real difference is that the publisher pays for marketing, whereas publicity, if you get it, is free” (Thompson, 2012). The first marketing for the film displayed the friendly snowman Olaf with funny dialog and no songs. It was an animated comedy for “boy humor”. Later, female characters, action, song, and humour were released. Frozen’s marketing is considerably unique as the majority of it was promoted by word of mouth and it is interesting because it was not mainly focused on love, it truly hones in on the relationship between two sisters. Statistics show that 43% of the audience is male. The inclusion of the soundtrack was later available. This soundtrack knocked Beyoncé out of her number one spot on the Billboard 200 album sales chart and is noted as the fourth animated soundtrack to follow out a pattern like that in 58 years. The following of Frozen on Ice is followed by ‘Frozen’ – the Broadway Play. As stated before, clothing and merchandise also became accessible. In total – the merchandise and clothing produced an $800 million profit with more than 200 toys available. Disney created an interesting marketing and promotion tactic. Disney Stores limited its customers on Frozen Toys. It was sold at only 2 toys per person. Toys R Us did the same for online orders. This embraced the saying, “When you don’t get what you want, you want it even more”.
Risk reduction also includes the idea that bigger is better. First, the fact that the budget is set at $150 million gives the movie a chance to flourish. Its cast is an important factor too. If you are going to go all out, go out with a bang. Frozen’s cast includes Kristen Bell who is notably famous for multiple movies, including Gossip Girl and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Idina Manzel is also recycled from her role in Enchanted to the next animated feature film. Josh Gad had viewers from the Book of Mormon fixated and has since taken the role of Olaf in Frozen. It is important when making films to provide a pre-sold identity. Films based on successful books, comics, TV series, and plays are included. In the case of the film, it was based off of Hans Christian Andersen Danish fairytale, “The Snow Queen”.
The adaption of the movie from a book ties in transmedia storytelling. It is an example of from being ‘published to produced’. Essentially, “transmedia storytelling is the technique of telling a story or story experience across multiple platforms using the technology available today” (Tstoryteller, 2013). Disney also incorporates transmedia storytelling via their virtual presence with Frozen games. This also integrates with multiplatform distribution. This refers to one of the components for transmedia storytelling being spreadability. Spreadbility basically entails that there is a digital platform for expanding the narrative. The next component is immersion. Immersion refers to audience research and the inclusion of themes, in this case love, siblings, and adventure. Subjectivity is vital, as transmedia storytelling should mean that there are different points of views and it can be interpreted in various ways. The last is performance, required by the narrative and characters.
Windowing is important in the economics behind a film. Windowing refers to the release sequence of movies across different avenues or windows (Roseblade, 2016). This also integrates the case of differentiating prices as per DVDs, Cinemas, and more. Frozen movie tickets made $873,496,971 in an international box office. US DVD sales show compensation of $212,215,490 while Blu Ray hits $156,316,857. Dedicated consumers who are willing to pay more hit the cinemas for the premiere, the “goal is to capture consumer surplus” (Roseblade, 2016). Windowing is a practical strategy in economics and the interest of a long lasting public good.
As mentioned before, Disney has created an economy of scope and this is due to their multiplatform distribution strategies. “Multiplatform distribution eliminates audience fragmentation, extracts maximum commercial value from IP/content assets, and exploits interactive features from a variety of platforms” (Roseblade, 2016). Disney has not only done this through the new Frozen Broadway show, but also through their website which they provide avid Frozen enthusiasts with Frozen games, videos, sing a longs, and the Frozen storytelling application. This means fan engagement. The greater range of public goods, the better. The retail of Frozen via Apple, Amazon, Google Play extends its demographics whilst increasing sales. This flips the switch for media consumption and changes the way people consume our goods.
The well-known and highly prestigious company, Walt Disney has done a phenomenal job maintaining and sustaining its economics of scale and scope in the past years. They have continued to prove their excelled worthiness through the animated film called Frozen. They have discovered various ways to monetize from the success of the movie as well as to keep its legacy alive. Frozen’s fame is not the way it is because of not just its audience, but because of the long awaited research, strategic marketing, and the brainstorming of attempting to reduce risk reduction.
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