Will Pixar’s Elemental be a success after all?

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Will Pixar's Elemental be a success after all ?

Summer 2023 has been a challenge for many of the summer blockbusters that were expected to be huge. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning and Fast X are all struggling to break even let alone turn a profit. But Pixar’s animated feature films have always been seen to be a sure bet with only 2015’s The Good Dinosaur failing. The combination of Pixar and dinosaurs would seem to be a sure fire hit but the $200m film needed to make $500 to break even and in the end only earned $332m. But this year the question has turned to their latest offering Elemental which met with a muted response when it premiered at Cannes and industry experts were asking, Will Pixar’s Elemental be a success after all?

When it did open Elemental made  only $29.5 million domestically in the US and $44.5 million globally and was by far the worst opening weekend in Pixar’s 28-year history. And yet fortunes have slowly but surely turned for the film with worldwide ticket sales slowly building and now stands at $443m nearly five times its initial ticket sales a rare multiple for an original non-franchise film.  It’s a much needed break for Pixar after 2019’s “Onward” and 2022’s “Lightyear,” fared badly and “Soul,” “Luca” and “Turning Red,” which ended up on Disney+ during the pandemic.

Pixar’s president Jim Morris sa9d, ‘ We have a lot of different revenue streams, but at the box office we’re looking at now, it should do better than break even theatrically. And then we have revenue from streaming, theme parks and consumer products. This will certainly be a profitable film for the Disney company.

With the films budget being around $200m the studio is looking at production costs and rather ominously Morris added, ‘ One of the ways you make these films for less money, and almost all of our competitors do this, is to do work offshore. It’s only us and Disney Animation that makes animation films in the U.S. anymore with all of the artists under one roof. We feel like having a colony of artists approach has differentiated our films. We hope to find a path to make that work. “Elemental” was particularly expensive because all the characters have visual effects. We had been getting the film costs down.’

But at the moment the answer to the question.,’Will Pixar’s Elemental be a success after all? would seem to be, yes.

related feature; How they made those fire and water characters for Pixar’s ‘Elemental’

related feature: At the UK premiere of Disney’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ director Justin Simien introduces the film

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