Maintaining Momentum: How Pixar’s ‘Elemental’ Continued to Shine in Theatres

When Pixar’s ‘Elemental’ hit theaters in June, it started with a spark rather than a blaze. The animated film, which explores a world of elemental characters and follows the love story of Ember and Wade, earned around $30 million during its opening weekend in the United States. Despite falling short of Pixar’s typical blockbuster numbers, ‘Elemental’ didn’t fizzle out at the box office; instead, it garnered momentum.

Directed by Peter Sohn, the film surpassed the $400 million milestone in global box office revenue last week, with $148 million coming from domestic audiences. This achievement is remarkable, considering it’s a rare feat for a film’s box office earnings to grow significantly after its opening weekend – a pattern unseen in Pixar movies since the groundbreaking ‘Toy Story’ in 1995.

Several factors contributed to the sustained success of ‘Elemental.’ The film received positive feedback from audiences, boasting a 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and an “A” CinemaScore, fostering strong word-of-mouth recommendations. Amid a summer lacking family-friendly films, ‘Elemental’ proved to be a solid choice for audiences of all ages.

Tony Chambers, Disney’s EVP of Theatrical Distribution, expressed satisfaction, saying, “After a disappointing opening weekend, we’re really pleased that audiences have discovered what a great movie it is.” Notably, ‘Elemental’ stands out as an original animated story in an industry dominated by sequels and established franchises. It marks the first time since 2017 that an original animated film from any studio has crossed the $400 million threshold.

International audiences played a crucial role in the film’s success. Chambers highlighted the film’s strong performance in key international markets such as South Korea, Mexico, France, and the UK. ‘Elemental’ has earned $276 million internationally, with an impressive $48 million in South Korea, making it the most-viewed foreign film in the country this year and the most-viewed Pixar film ever released there.

Elemental' review: A love story where fire and water sizzle - Los Angeles  Times

Opening in Japan over the weekend, the film added $2.4 million to its international gross, setting the stage for a successful run during the upcoming Obon holidays (Aug 11 to Aug 20).

‘Elemental’ challenges the notion that a film’s box office success is solely determined by its opening weekend, emphasizing the importance of a strong finish. Chambers noted the difficulty for original animated and live-action intellectual properties to break through in recent times, stating, “You can’t create a franchise without taking a swing, and no other studio has taken more swings than Disney.

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