‘Elemental’ Has Second Worst Opening Weekend in Pixar History

Shannen Ace

Ember and Wade in Pixar's Elemental

‘Elemental’ Has Second Worst Opening Weekend in Pixar History

Pixar’s new film “Elemental” has had the second-worst opening weekend in the animation studio’s history.

Though “Elemental” has received generally positive to neutral reviews, it hasn’t performed well at the box office. It’s earned only an estimated $29.5 million domestically. It’s earned $17 million internationally.

Not counting re-releases, the original “Toy Story” was Pixar’s lowest-grossing opening weekend with $29.1 million, not surprising considering it was their first feature film. This is followed by “Onward,” which was released in March 2020 amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and made $39.1 million in its opening weekend. “Soul” and “Luca” were both exclusively released on Disney+, while “Turning Red” had a limited theater release alongside a streaming release.

Pixar’s highest-grossing opening weekend (and highest-grossing film overall) was “Incredibles 2” with $182.3 million.

Elemental 2

“Elemental” stars Leah Lewis as the voice of Ember Lumen and Mamoudou Athie as the voice of Wade Ripple. It’s produced by Denise Ream and directed by Peter Sohn, who has worked on several Pixar films and previously directed Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.” The screenplay is by John Hoberg, Kat Likkel, and Brenda Hsueh.

peter sohn animation academy

“Elemental” takes place in “a city where fire, water, land, & air residents live together” and is about “a fiery young woman and a go-with-the-flow guy” who discover how much they have in common. Sohn, who also created the story, was inspired by his youth as the child of Korean immigrants.

It’s the burden of culture and passing the torch of carrying a piece of heritage inside of you and trying to decide what to do with that heritage. I have kids that come from different, mixed cultures. I’m Korean and my wife is half-Italian, part- German and part-English. The feeling of it can sometimes be like a burden. I wonder if I am I breaking the chain in my life because I’m not pushing the Korean language and culture. And our main character, Ember, even though her culture is fictional, she’s dealing with very similar issues of trying to understand her life in a place that was not her parents’ home.

Peter Sohn, Variety

The film debuted at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on May 27 and was released in U.S.A. theaters on June 16.

On Rotten Tomatoes, “Elemental” has a 76% on the Tomatometer, with a critics’ consensus of “‘Elemental’ may not satisfy as fully as the greatest Pixar pictures, but it remains a solid story told with dazzling visual flair.” The audience score is 91%.

Read our “Elemental” review.

“Elemental” merchandise, food and beverage items, photo ops, and more have debuted at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. Check some of these out below:

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  • Shannen Michaelsen

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at shannen@wdwnt.com.