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Pixar’s ‘Elemental’ Debuts in Second at Weak Holiday Box Office


This holiday weekend saw two new releases which were expected to kick off the summer movie season, but while Pixar’s “Elemental” came in second at the domestic box office, it fell short of expectations.

But Disney also has several other titles that placed in the Top 10 this weekend.

Let’s dig in…

A Slow Movie Weekend

Despite an “A” CinemaScore rating, apparently nobody went to the movies over a weekend that had both Father’s Day and Juneteenth holidays.

“Elemental” collected just $29.5 million at the domestic box office for the Friday through Sunday totals. Even the #1 film, “The Flash,” only brought in $55.1 million in its debut weekend.

This is, however, the lowest wide weekend debut ever for a Pixar title outside of the original “Toy Story” nearly 30 years ago. Even the unfairly maligned “Lightyear” debuted domestically in 2022 with $51 million, and looking back further, 2015’s “The Good Dinosaur” debuted with $39 million.

Internationally, “Elemental” only brought in an additional $15 million, bringing the global weekend total to just $44.5 million.

These numbers are puzzling since “Elemental” had both a 76% Fresh critics rating and a 92% audience rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Our own Mike Bastoli even proclaimed “‘Elemental’ is Bright, Bold, & One of Pixar’s Best.

Was it a case of family moviegoers being preoccupied with holiday events? Or did people just not find a story based on the elements of fire and water co-existing interesting?

It certainly doesn’t bode well for future original stories coming from Pixar. After the next original story release, “Elio,” movies on the Pixar schedule include “Inside Out 2,” and a rumored “Toy Story 5.”

Don’t complain about not having original animated films if people don’t support them by seeing them in theaters.

But, hopefully the audiences will come out to see “Elemental” this next week, keeping the box office numbers steady.

Elemental - characters

The Rest of the Box Office

In addition to “Elemental,” Disney had three other films place in the Top 10 for the weekend box office, plus had a hand in a fourth.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” a Columbia Pictures/Sony release with Marvel characters, hung on to third place with $27.8 million for a three week domestic total of $280,382,979.

The Little Mermaid” dropped to fifth place with $11.6 million for a four-week domestic total of $253,559,129.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” dropped from four to seventh place with $5 million, for a seven-week domestic total of $344,360,355.

And 20th Century’s horror film “The Boogeyman” slides into the eighth place on the chart with $3.8 million, for a three week total of $32,767,747.

Did you go to the movies this weekend? Let us know what you saw in the comments.