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Is Elemental streaming on Disney+?

Pixar loves its high concepts, and concepts don’t get much higher than Element City in the studio’s latest release, Elemental. Element City is a place where very human-like elemental beings of water, Earth, and fire live side-by-side. But by their very nature, water and fire can’t touch without turning the water into steam. That doesn’t stop an immigrant from Fire Town, Ember Lumen (Leah Lewis), from starting a romantic relationship with Wade Ripple (Mamoudou Athie), a water being who is head over heels in love with her.

Ronnie del Carmen also lends his voice to the film alongside Shila Ommi, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Catherine O’Hara, Mason Wertheimer, Ronobir Lahiri, Wilma Bonet, Joe Pera, Matt Yang King, Jeff LaPensee, Ben Morris, Alex Kapp, Jonathan Adams, and P.L. Brown. Peter Sohn directed Elemental and came up with the story alongside the film’s screenwriters John Hoberg, Kat Likkel, and Brenda Hsueh.

Now, we’ll answer your burning question (pun intended) about whether you can stream Elemental now.

Is Elemental streaming?

Ember and Wade in Pixar's Elemental.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

No, but at this rate, that could change very quickly. The early numbers for the film’s opening weekend have Elemental finishing behind The Flash at the box office with $30 million over three days, and approximately $33 million when factoring in the estimate from Monday’s Juneteenth holiday. For a Pixar movie, those are terrible numbers.

Last year, the Toy Story-adjacent spinoff Lightyear was considered a failure when it only had $118 million in North America on its way toward $226.4 million worldwide. Elemental won’t even get close to that. Considering that Elemental has a budget that is reportedly $200 million, Disney is poised to lose a lot of money on this film.

Will Elemental be available to stream at home?

Ember and Wade in Pixar's Elemental.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Yes, and it will likely arrive on Disney+ in about a month. While Disney has been known to stretch out the streaming window for movies that do well at the box office, it also has a tendency to rush the flops to Disney+. This is working against Elemental’s box office prospects because fans realize it will be available to stream even sooner.

There’s an argument to be made that Disney has tarnished the Pixar brand by releasing three straight Pixar movies direct-to-Disney+: Soul, Luca, and Turning Red. Pixar hasn’t had a true box office hit since.

What happened to Pixar’s magic touch at the box office?

Ember and Wade in Pixar's Elemental.

First, it was never “magic.” Pixar had a magnificent box office run for the better part of two decades because, for the most part, their films had the best animation and the best stories. Other studios have caught up to Pixar in terms of animation quality, and the story of Elemental in particular seems lackluster compared to earlier Pixar movies.

Disney also badly miscalculated with Elemental in two ways. First, by positioning it as a summer release alongside blockbuster movies. And second, by not moving it from its release date when Warner Bros. Pictures moved The Flash up a week. Regardless of The Flash‘s lackluster box office, it was always going to win a head-to-head contest between the two. That left Elemental fighting for scraps.

Elemental | Our Blue Flame

It does seem like Pixar could use some fresh blood creatively. Disney’s animation studio has had its own up-and-down periods over the last several decades, so it was inevitable that Pixar would eventually have its own difficulties. A string of hits, and yet another Toy Story sequel could potentially turn that around. And if Disney wants to undo some of the damage that it’s done to the Pixar brand, it could commit to a longer theatrical window before sending those movies to streaming. Otherwise, Elemental won’t be the last Pixar movie that doesn’t break even at the box office.

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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