Pixar’s ‘Elemental’ drops, raising concerns about the brand

Pixar's 'Elemental' drops, raising concerns about the brand

Pixar as a big screen brand is damaged.

It was one of the bright spots from the weekend’s box office, which beat Pixar original “Elemental” by more than $200 million, reaching a devastating $29.5 million in domestic ticket sales. “The Flash,” a Warner Bros. superhero spectacle that was supposed to cost around $200 million, also struggled, taking in a sluggish $55.1 million, according to comScore, which compiles ticketing data.

A film consultant, David A. “It’s hard to sugarcoat it,” Gross said. newsletter On box office numbers.

Questions about Pixar’s health Near rocked hollywood And among investors since last June, when the Disney-owned studio released “Lightyear” to disastrous results. How Pixar, the gold standard of animation studios for nearly three decades, could have got a movie so wrong — specifically about Buzz Lightyear, a base “Toy Story” character?

Perhaps families troubled by the pandemic were not quite ready to return to theatres. Or maybe, as some box office analysts speculated, Disney was diluting the Pixar brand by using its own movies to build the Disney+ streaming service. In late 2020, Disney debuted three Pixar films (“Soul,” “Turning Red” and “Luca”) online, bypassing theaters entirely.

By streaming standards, those were three movies fugitive hit, But Pixar’s most recent box office success was in 2019, when “Toy Story 4” grossed $1.1 billion worldwide.

The attendance for “Elemental” over the weekend reinforced the brand problem hypothesis: it was Pixar’s worst ever opening-weekend result in the United States and Canada. The previous bottom was “further”, reaching $39 million ($46 million after adjusting for inflation) in domestic ticket sales in March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread worldwide .

Disney said “Elemental,” a cross-cultural girl-meets-boy romantic comedy, took in an additional $15 million in limited release overseas.

To re-establish Pixar films as more than just Disney+ food, the company held a premiere for “Elemental” at the Cannes Film Festival and a premiere at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. “We’ve trained viewers that these movies will be available to you on Disney+,” Pixar chief creative officer Pete Docter said in a statement Friday. interview with variety, a business news outlet. “We’re trying to make sure people realize that you’re missing out on a lot by not seeing it on the big screen.”

Movies based on original stories are getting tougher to sell, especially at a time when going to the movies is expensive and the broader economy is shaky. People want to know whether spending the money will be worth it. Animated films that have been successful have been based on established characters and franchises.

“You can’t create new franchises if you don’t swing for original stories, and we try really hard,” said Tony Chambers, Disney’s executive vice president of theatrical distribution. Referring to intellectual property, he said, “It takes a lot of hard work to break original IP nowadays.”

Families turned out in huge numbers for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Universal) in April and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony) earlier this month. The family movie budget may be used up at this point, and moviegoers know they’ll be able to catch “Elemental” at home before long.

others in hollywood wall Street There’s also concern that Pixar’s once-bright creative spark is beginning to flicker. The studio has suffered a brain drain; It eliminated 75 jobs last month as part of Disney-wide layoffs and cost-cutting. (“Lightair” director angus mcleanPixar has also been pushed to expand into television production in order to keep Disney+ shelves stocked. “The higher the volume, the lower the quality,” said Terry Press, a former executive at Disney, DreamWorks and CBS Films.

Reviews for “Elemental” were mostly Positive, although somewhat less than usual for a Pixar release. Ticket buyers gave it an A grade in CinemaScore exit polls. The Sunday morning “audience score” on Rotten Tomatoes was 91 percent positive.

In a statement, Disney said that the positive reviews “set us up for a strong theatrical run through the school holiday period.” is the next major animated movie for families”Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem(Paramount), which won’t hit theaters until August 2.

“The Flash” (Warner Bros.) received weak reviews and a cool audience response – ticket buyers gave it a B in the CinemaScore exit poll – but filled enough seats to rank as the No. 1 film in the United States and Canada. The film finds the titular superhero using his powers to travel back in time, accidentally causing havoc. Batman and Supergirl also feature prominently.

In part, “The Flash” suffered from timing: It was delayed by the pandemic, finally coming at a moment when late-night shows — vital movie marketing platforms — shut down because of the show’s writers’ strike. Warner Bros. and its DC Studios division have also cited superhero fatigue as an explanation for the recent poor performance of a string of their comics-based films, including “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and “Black Adam”. “.

Ezra Miller, who played the Flash, became a divisive figure in 2021 and 2022 after offscreen legal troubles and erratic behavior. (the actor, who is non-binary, issued an apology last year and said they were seeking mental health treatment. He didn’t campaign for “The Flash” extensively.)

“The superhero world is fantasy, escapist fun,” Mr. Gross said. “Everyone has to play along. It didn’t help.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

98 − 95 =