Pixar’s latest film, “Elemental,” had a dismal opening at the box office, bringing in only $29.5 million in domestic ticket sales over the weekend. This makes it one of the worst-performing films in the studio’s history. The movie is Pixar’s first original theatrical release since the COVID-19 pandemic that was not made available for streaming directly.
For perspective, Pixar’s first-ever movie, “Toy Story,” earned $29.1 million, which was a remarkable feat for the then-little-known studio in 1995. On the other hand, some of Pixar’s most successful films include “The Incredibles 2,” which grossed $182.7 million in its opening weekend, “Toy Story 4” with $120.9 million, “Finding Nemo” which bagged $70.3 million, and “Up” with $68.1 million, as per Forbes.
“Elemental” showcases the four elements of nature- fire, water, earth, and air. The movie follows two unlikely characters named Ember and Wade in a metropolis where fire, water, land, and air residents coexist. The passionate young woman and the mellow guy are set to discover a fundamental truth, which is how similar they are to one another.
The film, directed by Peter Sohn, is renowned for his work on “The Good Dinosaur” (2015). Kai Ava Hauser, a non-binary star, voices the studio’s first-ever gender-nonconforming character, Lake. Hauser revealed on Twitter that they were excited to play Pixar’s first non-binary character, who features in “Elemental.”
The film’s production cost a whopping $200 million, making its poor showing at the box office disheartening to its producers. David A. Gross, a film consultant who publishes a newsletter on box office numbers, noted that the numbers were bleak, and there is no way to sugarcoat it. Furthermore, industry insiders believe Pixar’s future may be in question since its last release, the Toy Story spinoff, “Lightyear,” failed to meet box-office expectations last year. The film’s depiction of a same-sex kiss drew widespread criticism. Another Pixar children’s movie that included a gay character, “Onward,” which was a box-office flop, grossing only $39.1 million during its opening weekend in 2020.