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Elemental Surpasses Expectations With A Slow-Burning Triumph

When Disney/Pixar’s latest animated creation, Elemental, stumbled out of the gate with an unimpressive opening weekend, industry insiders were quick to proclaim its failure. With one of the weakest debuts in Pixar’s history, critics and pundits alike started to speculate whether the beloved animation studio had lost its Midas touch.

Since its mid-June theatrical release, Elemental has managed to defy expectations, transforming its underwhelming beginnings into a resounding success. According to The Walt Disney Company, the film has achieved a feat so rare that it hadn’t been accomplished since the inception of the genre-defining Toy Story in 1995. Despite its lackluster start, Elemental has raked in a whopping fivefold of its initial $30 million domestic box office revenue. This resurgence isn’t limited to the domestic market alone; on the global stage, the film has amassed an impressive haul of over $420 million.

Directed by Peter Sohn, who drew inspiration from his upbringing in an immigrant family, Elemental boasts an all-star voice cast, including Leah Lewis as the spirited Ember and Mamoudou Athie as the endearing Wade. The remarkable journey of Elemental is underpinned by several key factors that have contributed to its gradual ascent to success.

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Elemental holds the distinction of being the first original animated film from any studio to reach the coveted $400 million milestone since 2017. Garnering a staggering 93% audience score on the influential review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film is resonating with viewers. This connection is further solidified by its “A” CinemaScore, which has undoubtedly propelled positive word-of-mouth.

A big contributor of its success is a summer landscape devoid of family-friendly options. Elemental has emerged as a standout choice for moviegoers of all ages. Its universal appeal has translated into international success, with countries like Mexico, France, and the UK contributing substantially to its global haul. However, it’s South Korea that stands out, as the film’s popularity there is quantified by the remarkable statistic that “one out of every eight people in Korea have seen it.” Notably, Elemental has achieved the status of being the most-watched Pixar film in the country, with an estimated “6 million admissions.”

The success of ‘Elemental’ stands as a testament to the fact that a film’s ultimate triumph isn’t solely determined by its opening weekend figures. Rather, it hinges on its lasting impact and resonance with audiences.

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