5 Reasons Why Pixar's Elemental Flopped at the Box Office

5 Reasons Why Pixar's Elemental Flopped at the Box Office
Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Pixar’s new animated movie really bombed at the box office on its opening weekend, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise: here are five reasons this was bound to happen.

Elemental is by no account a bad animated movie, but its box office failure was borderline inevitable.

A combination of many unfortunate factors has Pixar’s latest project pretty much doomed to bomb at the box office, but we’ll only go through the five main reasons for Elemental’s severe underperformance.

5. Why come to theaters?

Ever since the coronavirus lockdown, Pixar’s been sending its animated movies to Disney+ instead of theaters. With the lockdowns gone, the company’s releasing their movies to the theaters first, but the audience already knows that they can just wait a bit and watch Elemental on a pre-paid streaming platform. Convenience above all.

4. The initial reaction was meh

To hype up Elemental, Pixar put it as the closing movie at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, but the critics’ response was not too positive which hurt Elemental’s public image. After the movie’s release, the new reviews significantly improved the ratings — but then again, they weren’t exactly great, just OK, so they didn’t help too much.

5 Reasons Why Pixar's Elemental Flopped at the Box Office - image 1

3. (Poor) timing is (poor) king

When you release your animated movie into the cinemas that are currently offering The Flash, The Little Mermaid, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Fast X, and especially another huge animation like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, you have to realize that you’re butchering your revenue. The competition’s too tough.

2. Solo titles are dying (kinda)

Curiously enough, no one really wants to watch standalone movies these days, and franchises rule the industry. Part of the reason why Elemental was brushed aside is that it’s an original movie surrounded by new franchise entries, so it only had the thinnest chance to win over the audience’s weekend theater money… If any at all.

1. Adam Smith sent his regards

Elemental had basically zero marketing, like, nada. Considering the incredibly competitive time for the movie’s release, Pixar doomed its project when it decided to just release a trailer and pray someone watches it. This invisible marketing strategy inevitably led to the invisible hand of the market yeeting Elemental off the cash pile.