Missed appointment for Pixar. With “Elementary”, a love story “à la Romeo et Juliette” where the four elements cohabit, the animation studio hoped to reconnect with success on the big screen. But the first results are disappointing.
In the United States and Canada, three days after its theatrical release, the fantastic tale should earn 29.5 million dollars, according to first estimates. A result which, of course, allows “Elementary” (Elemental, in the original version) to take second place in the North American box office, but which remains very far from the usual performance of Pixar.
Failed “Buzz Lightyear”
For this first weekend of operation, the studio was counting on 35 million dollars in revenue. “Elementary” therefore signs one of the worst openings of all time for a Pixar film. The animated film is preceded by the last superhero film from Warner Bros. studios, “The Flash”, which raised 55 million dollars from Friday to Sunday in the United States and Canada.
This new disappointment comes after several failures by Pixar. In 2022, the release of “Buzz Lightyear”, spin-off of “Toy Story”, had signed the biggest failure of the studio. With a budget of $200 million, the film would have made only $226 million from its theatrical admissions.
For its first weekend of exploitation across the Atlantic, the film nevertheless did better than “Elementary”, with 51 million dollars in revenue. Pixar has not had a major theatrical success in France since “Toy Story 4” (4.6 million admissions in 2019) and “The Incredibles 2” (5.8 million admissions in 2018).
In France, viewers will have to wait until Wednesday to discover the adventures of Flam, an intrepid and quick-witted young woman (dubbed in French by Adèle Exarchopoulos), and Flack, a sentimental and fun boy, who live in Element City. Drawing inspiration from his own experience, South Korean director Peter Sohn (“Arlo’s Journey”) drew on his budding romance with an American of Italian descent to convey a message about “the difficulties and misunderstanding between cultures,” Pixar boss Pete Docter told AFP.
Presentation in Cannes
The presentation of the film at Cannes marked Pixar’s return to cinemas. The Covid period had forced Disney, owner of the studio since 2006, to reserve some of its feature films for its Disney+ platform, such as “Soul”, which won the Oscar for best animated film in 2021.
From the return of Bob Iger at the head of the group, the house of Mickey seeks to better promote its content. His predecessor, Bob Chapek, meanwhile, had radically bet on streaming. The strategy seems to smile more at Disney than at Pixar. After the worldwide success of “Avatar the Way of the Water”, THE remake of “The Little Mermaid” seduced the American box office at the end of May, for its first week of operation.