onward box office

Onward took the top spot at the box office this weekend with a $40 million domestic haul, far out-performing fellow newcomer The Way Back ($8.5 million) and other top-charting films like The Invisible Man ($15.5 million) and Sonic the Hedgehog ($8 million). Yet Pixar and industry insiders are considering the animated fantasy-adventure film to be a disappointment. Despite mostly positive reviewsOnward had the lowest opening for a Pixar film since 2015’s The Good Dinosaur and came in vastly below projections internationally.

Variety reports that Pixar’s Onward debuted this weekend to $40 million, taking the top spot at the box office. But its opening box office haul makes Onward one of the lowest-performing openers in recent Pixar history.

The lauded animation studio consistently rakes in millions at the box office, and is the only company in the industry to ever release four animated features that made more than $100 million in their opening weekends. The only two movies in the studio’s history to make less than $40 million during their domestic openings are John Lasseter’s Toy Story (which opened to $29.1 million in 1995) and Peter Sohn’s The Good Dinosaur ($39 million in 2015). However, both films would go on to make $364.5 million and $333.8 million, respectively, so there are good chances that this is just a speed bump for Onward.

However, Onward‘s box office performance internationally has been stalling as well. The film brought in $28 million at international markets, bringing Onward to a global tally of $68 million. This was well below the projected $40-$55 million range industry insiders expected Onward to bring in at offshore markets. Deadline notes that the rapid spread of the coronavirus and the fears surrounding it may be a factor in Onward‘s disappointing international performance. The film didn’t even open in the biggest international market China, which closed all its screens amidst its coronavirus quarantine, nor in highly affected countries like Italy and Korea. However, Onward still managed to get the number onr spot in the U.K. ($4.4 million), France ($3.3 million), Mexico ($3 million), Spain ($1.9 million) and Brazil ($1.1 million); as well as Indonesia, Philippines, Singapora, and others.

However, Variety reports that coronavirus concerns haven’t appeared to impact moviegoing in the U.S. Experts suggest to the outlet that “it was the movies themselves — not fears of coronavirus — that stifled ticket sales.” The weekend is down 50% from the same time frame last year, which saw Captain Marvel hit theaters to a massive $153 million. The drop has pushed the year-to-date box office down almost 2%.

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