‘Elemental’ More Popular Than ‘Little Mermaid’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

in Disney, Pixar

ember in pixar movie elemental

Credit: Disney

Despite its slow box office beginnings, Elemental (2023) has surprised the naysayers by becoming more popular than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) and the live-action version of The Little Mermaid (2023).

Wade's mom from Elemental crying in her home
Credit: Pixar

Related: ‘Elemental’ Set To Replace Classic ‘Toy Story’ at Pixar

Directed by Peter SohnElemental tells the story of water elemental Wade Ripple (Mamoudou Athie) and fire elemental Ember Lumen (Leah Lewis) as they fall in love and navigate the prejudices of their families as well as the citizens of Element City.

Unfortunately, the Elemental did not meet initial expectations when it debuted in theaters. Not only did it receive the lowest average reviews of a Pixar film in years, but it also experienced the lowest box office opening since Toy Story (1995), debuting at $29.5 million in June. Compare that to Lightyear (2022), Pixar’s biggest box office flop, which opened at over $50 million.

Cast of Elemental enjoying a movie in a theater, all wearing sunglasses
Credit: Pixar

However, things began to change as the movie continued its theatrical run. Word got out over Elemental’s quality, causing critics and audiences to reassess the film. After multiple months in theaters worldwide, it has grossed over $490 million, more than twice as much as Lightyear.

Needless to say, Elemental has proven to be one of the year’s bright spots for the Walt Disney Company, joining The Little Mermaid and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as some of the highest-grossing movies of the year. And since its debut on Disney+, the “Pixar film that could” has become even more dominant.

‘Elemental’ Dominates on Disney+

Ember, Wade, and citizens of Element City looking up and smiling in a stadium
Credit: Pixar

Related: ‘Elemental’ Is Disney’s Most Successful Original Film in Years

Despite its initial low numbers, Elemental has proven the critics and naysayers wrong by becoming one of the box office highlights of 2023. Naturally, everyone thought it was going to pull in killer numbers when it finally arrived on Disney+. And the people predicting this weren’t wrong.

After arriving on the streaming platform on September 13, Elemental has since garnered over 60 million views as of October 1. That far surpasses the streaming efforts of both the live-action version of The Little Mermaid and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. That’s impressive for a film that was deemed a “box office bomb” upon its release!

Bradley Cooper/Sean Gunn as Rocket Racoon in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Disturbing ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Scene Has Surfaced

One of the best things working for Elemental has been word of mouth. Take, for example, Rahela Nayebzadah, a parent of two sons in Vancouver, Canada. “I had no idea what ‘Elemental’ was about, but we decided to watch it as a family because I kept hearing good things,” Nayebzadah told the New York Times. “The kids have been watching it nonstop ever since.”

The Pixar film’s early failure did not result from a bad movie. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Instead, Elemental is the perfect example of why properly marketing a movie is so important, and, in the end, you cannot keep a good movie down.

Which do you prefer: ElementalGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, or the live-action version of The Little Mermaid? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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