Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” debuted this weekend to $40 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 $28 million for a global tally of $68 million.
“Onward,” a fantastical adventure about two brothers (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt), ranks among Pixar’s lowest opening weekend’s in modern times, joining 2015’s “The Good Dinosaur” and its $39 million as a rare blemish for the Disney-owned company, known for producing hits such as “Inside Out,” Coco” and Up.” Pixar films typically cost $175 million to $200 million to produce, a huge sum that doesn’t include global marketing fees.
Directed by Dan Scanlon, “Onward” received mostly positive reviews, though it didn’t welcome the kind of rapturous reception that greets most Pixar titles. Still, “Onward” looks to benefit in coming weeks as one of the few options for family audiences. It scored an “A-” CinemaScore, signaling that moviegoers enjoyed the film.
This weekend’s other high-profile release, Warner Bros.’ sports drama “The Way Back,” also fell short of expectations. But box office experts suggest it was the movies themselves — not fears of coronavirus — that stifled ticket sales.
“I think there was zero impact,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore, said. “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.”
Overall box office receipts are down 50% from the same weekend last year, an inevitable dip given last year saw “Captain Marvel” arrive with a huge $153 million. That drastic dip pushed the year-to-date box office down almost 2%, the first year-over-year decline in 2020.
“The Way Back” brought in $8.5 million when it launched in 2,718 theaters, enough for third place on box office charts. It’s a lackluster start given its A-list leading man, but an improvement from Warner Bros. recent mid-budget duds like “The Good Liar” ($5.6 million) and “The Kitchen” ($5.5 million).
The film, which cost roughly $21 million to make, was poised as a big-screen comeback for Affleck. His performance as an alcoholic construction worker who is recruited to become the head coach of a high school basketball team has been praised, but it didn’t get the level of reception that smaller dramas need these days to make an impact at the box office.
In second place, Universal and Blumhouse’s “The Invisible Man” added $15.5 million in its second outing for a cumulative total of $52.6 million. Internationally, the Elisabeth Moss-led thriller generated $17.3 million. Its box office receipts currently stand at $98.3 million, already a win for the studio since it cost just $7 million.
More to come…
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