For the first time in almost three years, an original film from Pixar Animation Studios is playing in theaters. Elementary marks Pixar’s first theatrical release not based on an existing franchise. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been very successful thus far, falling short of projections and delivering what is arguably the worst opening weekend in Pixar history.
Elementary was already heading for a low opening of $35 million this weekend, but the movie didn’t even hit that mark, delivering just $29.5 million in the past three days. Technically, that’s Pixar’s second-worst opening. Toy Story, the studio’s first film, grossed $29.1 million in its opening weekend. However, when adjusted for inflation, the Toy Story premiere is much more impressive. Also, it was released in significantly fewer theaters and was a film that changed the landscape of the entire animation industry.
The Good Dinosaur, the previous film from Elementary director Peter Sohn, grossed just over $39 million in its opening weekend, and that was considered low at the time. Needless to say, this debut is a bit concerning for Pixar.
It’s not fair to blame Elemental, which has received mostly positive reviews. It has a 76% “Fresh” designation on Rotten Tomatoes, with an audience score of 92%.