Disney Celebrates Huge Comeback With Unexpected Movie

By TeeJay Small | Updated

pixar elemental

Despite early box office numbers for Disney’s Elemental reflecting incredibly low earnings for the film, its luck may have finally turned around during its continued theater run. After bombing alongside a host of other underperforming films this year, such as The Flash, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and Shazam: Fury of the Gods, Elemental has finally surpassed the $300 million mark at the box office, according to figures reported by Deadline.

Elemental underperformed during its opening weekend, but has since gone on to make over $300 million, outperforming The Flash.

The $300 million milestone is significant for Disney, as Elemental‘s first-week numbers represented an abysmal financial failure for the company.

The film, which boasts a budget of roughly $200 million, seems to have finally made a significant profit for the studio, despite needing a few extra weeks to finally make it there. After opening second to The Flash at only $29 million, early projections for the film were looking pretty grim.

pixar elemental

This remarkable reversal can likely be attributed to Elemental‘s extended shelf life within the theater, remaining at the box office for over a month in order to reach this latest milestone.

Despite poor financial performances in the early weeks, Disney’s Elemental managed to avoid steep drops in week-by-week numbers, with only a 6 percent drop in its fifth weekend overseas. These figures are unheard of, as even high-performing films tend to have significant drops as their theater runs continue into their second month.

Strong word of mouth and positive reviews powered Elemental at the box office, making it Pixar’s best film in years.

Disney’s current projections seem to suggest that Elemental is well on track to reach $400 million and beyond, whereas other underperforming films, such as Warner Brothers’ The Flash, are unlikely to catch up, even when accounting for revenue brought in by video on demand and streaming figures.

In recent interviews and press reports, Disney CEO Bob Iger acknowledged that shuffling underperforming films such as Soul and Turning Red off to streaming have damaged the film’s ultimate bottom line, reflecting a negative turning point for Pixar’s brand.

pixar elemental

Disney’s Elemental follows the tale of a forbidden love between a water-based being and a fire-based being in a world of segregated entities composed of singular elements. The film stars Leah Lewis, Jurassic World: Dominion‘s Mamoudou Athie, and Schitt’s Creek‘s Catherine O’Hara.

Despite its financial reception during opening weekend, the film seems to have pleased audiences, garnering a great deal of word-of-mouth support, as well as amassing a 93 percent certified fresh audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Elemental has out-earned the latest Indiana Jones and Ant-Man movies, helping to save Disney at the theaters this Summer.

This latest earnings milestone places Elemental over other Disney-owned films such as Indiana Jones 5 and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, clocking in as the ninth highest-grossing film of 2023. This year has been historic for its unprecedented box office failures, leaving many studio heads to wonder what can be done to prevent losses.

As continued reports of strikes from both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA have impacted the film industry, there’s no telling what could come next for the major studios, particularly as flagship films continue to bring dwindling returns at the box office. If Disney’s Elemental is any indication of how to navigate our current media minefield successfully, it may be as a lesson that patience is a virtue.