With the release of Onward, Disney-Pixar has hit a new bottom at the box office. That’s an odd thing to say when a film opens no. 1 at the box office with a final total of $39.1 million, but Hollywood is a game of expectations and people have sky-high expectations for Pixar, one of the most respected brands in animation.
Other Pixar films have opened with lower three-day totals — Toy Story and A Bug’s Life, but adjusted for inflation, both of those films would have brought in much more money in 2020 than Onward. What that means is that the Dan Scanlon-directed Onward had the smallest opening weekend theatrical audience ever for a Pixar film.
Onward, the studio’s first original film since 2017’s Coco, was the first Pixar film to ever launch in March, and among March animation releases, it wound up as twelfth-best, trailing such films as Zootopia ($71.1m), Ice Age: The Meltdown ($68m), Home ($52.1m), The Boss Baby ($50.1m), How to Train Your Dragon ($43.7m), and The Croods ($43.6m), among others.