Disney/Pixar’s “Elemental” is continuing its rebound from the worst opening weekend in Pixar history on streaming, as the studio reported Monday that the animated film drew 26.4 million views worldwide in its first five days on Disney+.
That’s enough to make “Elemental” the most watched film on Disney’s streaming service in its opening week this year, and the most viewed animated movie premiere on Disney+ since Pixar’s “Turning Red” premiered exclusively on the service in March 2022.
Directed by Peter Sohn, “Elemental” first seemed doomed to be another box office bomb akin to Pixar’s 2022 bust “Lightyear” after it suffered the worst opening weekend in studio history with $29.6 million grossed in North America back in June. A lack of widespread prerelease interest among moviegoers, combined with mixed reviews at its Cannes Film Festival premiere, were likely to blame for the bad start.
But after it hit theaters, “Elemental” earned the stellar word-of-mouth usually expected from Pixar films and legged out for over two months in theaters, going on to gross $154 million domestic and $484 million worldwide in a run similar to DreamWorks’ “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” this past winter. The film’s romantic story and familial themes particularly resonated in South Korea — the native country of Sohn’s parents — where it became Pixar’s highest grossing film ever.
Disney is hoping that the strong word-of-mouth for “Elemental” will help build momentum for future films coming from both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation. Disney’s next animated release in theaters will be its centennial anniversary film “Wish” on Thanksgiving weekend, followed by Pixar’s “Elio” in March 2024.