While families and fans in America were lining up all over for Frozen 2 and propelling it to a a record breaking weekend, some moviegoers in the UK found themselves in a scene out of a horror movie rather than a Disney adventure. According to The Independent, a "mass brawl" broke out a movie theater in the city of Birmingham in what police describe as an event that "bears the hallmarks of an organised fight between rival groups." The incident in question reportedly involved up to 100 teenagers, some of whom were armed with machetes, resulting in five arrests on the scene and minor injuries to seven police officers.
“This was a major outbreak of trouble which left families who were just trying to enjoy a night out at the cinema understandably frightened," Superintendent Ian Green, from Birmingham police said in a statement. “We worked quickly to move the crowds on, but were met with a very hostile response and officers had to draw Tasers to restore order. Thankfully, the injuries to our officers were very minor. We’ve also recovered two machetes and a knife, and it’s clear that some of those who went to Star City last night were intent on causing trouble. We’ve had a great response from the public who have been very supportive of our officers.”
As one could imagine, it wasn't the content or even the exhibition of Frozen 2 that spurned the chaos at the theater, with an alternate report from Independent citing the new crime-drama Blue Story as being the inspiration for the youth-led violence. Deadline reports that the film has had a turbulent weekend with some exhibitors deciding to pull the film entirely from theaters after "over 25 significant incidents were reported" in the film's first 24 hours of release. The BBC Films production tells the story of gangland rivals in the streets of London.
The ice-themed magical adventures of Anna and Elsa remains in theaters, and despite the incident in Birmingham has cruised its way to the biggest opening for an animated film in the U.K. with a $17.8 million weekend. Domestically the film brought in $130 million, matching what the first Frozen in 2015 brought in through the first 17 days of its release but still just the third highest opening weekend for an animated movie in the US. Worldwide the sequel had a weekend total of $358.2 million, no doubt putting it on track to meet or exceed the first film's already lofty worldwide box office of $1.2 billion.
Original Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee return for the sequel. The film features new music from the composers and songwriters of the original film, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Ciarán Hinds reprise their voice acting roles from the original Frozen. Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, and Jeremy Sisto join them as new characters.