Pixar’s latest film Elemental crossed the $400 million mark globally on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2023. It is the first Hollywood animated original film to reach this box office milestone since the pandemic began. Domestically, Elemental has earned $146.2 million, while overseas it has grossed $257.5 million, bringing its worldwide total to $403.7 million so far.
Although lower than many previous Pixar films, this puts Elemental well ahead of last year’s underperforming Lightyear, which only made $218.8 million worldwide. With a reported $200 million production budget, Elemental is now on track to avoid becoming a major financial loss for Pixar and Disney despite the challenges of the pandemic on theatrical moviegoing.
Initially, Elemental struggled at the box office when it opened in June 2023 to Pixar’s worst-ever 3-day weekend debut of just $29.6 million. This was lower than even 1995’s Toy Story, which made $29.1 million over Thanksgiving weekend.
However, Elemental showed strong legs over subsequent weeks, holding on remarkably well to become one of Pixar’s highest multiples ever domestically. It has now surpassed DC’s 2023 film The Flash, which debuted higher but has only earned $107 million in North America so far.
Overseas, Elemental has also found success, especially in South Korea where it is a true phenomenon. As of August 3rd, it has grossed $44.8 million in South Korea alone, selling nearly 6 million tickets, or 1 ticket for every 8 people in the country. It ranks as South Korea’s 3rd highest animated film ever behind Frozen 1 and 2, the #2 film of 2023 behind a local title, and the 5th biggest Hollywood film in the pandemic era after mega-hits like Avatar 2.
So while it started slow, Elemental has shown impressive endurance worldwide, defying early expectations.