Pixar’s Onward disappoints despite topping box office
LOS ANGELES Disney and Pixar's Onward debuted over the weekend to US$40 million (S$55 million), enough to lead box office charts but still a somewhat disappointing start given the studio's near-flawless track record when it comes to animated fare.
Internationally, the film brought in US$28 million for a global tally of US$68 million.
Onward, a fantastical adventure about two elf brothers (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt), ranks among Pixar's lowest opening weekends in modern times, joining 2015's The Good Dinosaur and its US$39 million as a rare blemish for the Disney-owned company.
Pixar films typically cost US$175 million to US$200 million to produce, a huge sum that does not include global marketing fees.
Onward received mostly positive reviews, scoring an A- on CinemaScore and 86 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, though it did not win the kind of rapturous reception that greets most Pixar titles.
In second place was last week's winner, horror film The Invisible Man, with US$15.2 million, while third place went to Ben Affleck's sports drama The Way Back, with US$8.5 million.
But box office experts suggest it was the movies themselves - not fears of coronavirus - that stifled ticket sales.
Onward was tracking an opening between US$40 and US$45 million even before threats of coronavirus in North America.
"I think there was zero impact," said Mr Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore.
"With $40 million for Onward, a small drop off for The Invisible Man and The Way Back getting solid scores from audiences, it looks like people are in the habit of going to the movies." - REUTERS