Ice Age: Collision Course, the fifth installment in Fox and Blue Sky Studios’ lucrative franchise, bombed in its U.S opening, launching in fifth place with $21.4 million. The film has been lambasted by both critics and fans, and owns an abysmal 13% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Still, despite its critical reception, $21 million is an almost incomprehensibly tiny launch for what is considered Fox’s key animation franchise. The previous lowest opening for an Ice Age film had been Dawn of the Dinosaurs which launched with $41.7m in 2009.

Fox continues to produce the Ice Age films because they’re proven money makers, and most of that money comes from outside of the United States. In terms of global gross, the last two films in the series—Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) and Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)—made phenomenal amounts: $886.7 million and $877.2 million respectively. In both cases, an overwhelming majority of the earnings came from international sales (77.8% and 81.6%).

Although Fox understands that Ice Age is more of an international franchise than American, it’s unlikely that they anticipated such an inconsequential American launch for their franchise. After it became clear on Saturday that the new Ice Age would tank in the U.S., the film’s director Mike Thurmeier tweeted, “Welp, that didn’t go quite like I imagined it,” and added the hashtag: #pleasebabyjesusletinternationalboxofficestaystrong.

Collision Course has grossed $177.7m from foreign territories. It might be a while before we fully understand the film’s international performance, and whether it’ll be enough to justify Ice Age 6.

Blue Sky is perhaps one of the saddest cases in the U.S. feature animation industry. While the quality of their animation and technical craft is beyond reproach, they suffer from poor decision-making at the top. From the gorgeous sleeping aid Epic to the unnecessary CG version of Peanuts, the studio and their handlers at Fox have not picked material that makes the best use of the studio’s talents. Ice Age was one of the most consistent projects they had going for them, and now the future of that franchise might be in doubt too.

In other box office news, The Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory both continued stellar runs at the U.S. box office.

After two weeks in first place, Pets was knocked off its perch by Star Trek Beyond. Pets scored $29.6m in its third weekend, lifting its domestic total to $261m. The Illumination film, which hasn’t yet opened in most international territories, has a global gross of $324.2m so far.

Pixar’s Finding Dory found $7.2m in its sixth domestic weekend, adding to its record-breaking total for the highest-U.S.-grossing animated feature of all-time with $460.2m. The film has grossed $782.6m globally.

The French animated feature Phantom Boy, released stateside by GKIDS, picked up $3,138 from two theaters. The film has grossed $8,907 in its first two weeks.

Latest News from Cartoon Brew