‘Elemental’ Continues To Defy the Odds as Disney Eyes Non-Traditional Ways To Recoup Its Losses

It’s been a strange year for Disney. Unexpected monetary losses a the box office have caused the company to reevaluate several business practices. The Great Disney Plus Purge of 2023 and Marvel’s massive Disney Plus calendar delay are just two ways in which it has tried to stretch its dollar. Now, the Mouse House is going for another, slightly more antiquated method. One that marks yet another first for the streaming platform. 

Fortunately, the previously declared flop Elemental continues to pull a rabbit out of the hat at the box office. This time, the rabbit is Spider-Man. 

The fan-favorite fantasy series Disney scrubbed from existence is revealed to have cost $106 million to make 

Screengrab via Disney Plus

When Disney announced it had plans to remove entire movies and TV shows from Disney Plus for good, no one expected Willow, the show that had only taken its first breath six months prior, to get the chop. It was previously unclear how much Disney invested into the episodic revival of the popular 1988 movie, but now we know it was around $106 million. Imagine throwing $106 million buckaroos out the window. That’s exactly what Disney did when it scrapped the show from the streaming platform, effectively making it unwatchable by anyone, anywhere. Of course, it’s all part of the company’s cost-cutting efforts, but $106 million is $106 million however which way you spin it. 

Disney veers from tradition as WandaVision, Loki, and more get the Blu-ray treatment

Screengrab via Marvel Studios

Remember the good old days when Netflix offered DVDs as part of its subscription bundle? The business practice eventually went out of style, and streaming exclusive content remained solely available on the platform alone. Disney Plus and other streaming platforms followed suit for obvious reasons (why pay for a streaming subscription when you can watch it off-platform with DVD or Blu-ray?). Now, in a move that feels akin to setting a hat on the floor and asking for change, Disney Plus is offering its most popular shows — the first season of Loki, WandaVision, and the first two seasons of The Mandalorian — on Blu-ray and 4K UHD. They hit shelves on Sept. 26, Nov. 28, and Dec. 12, respectively. 

Elemental fires up the engine and zooms past Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse at the international box office

First, it was a highly anticipated bop, then it was a box-office flop, then it came back from the dead and became a bop again. Now, it’s breaking yet another record to become the second-highest-grossing animated movie of 2023. At present, it’s earned $307.2 million at the international box office whereas Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has earned $305.9 million. Of course, Across the Spider-Verse still has a larger domestic haul than Elemental, but talk about a Cinderella story for Pixar. It’s also the first original animated film to cross the $400 million benchmark since pre-pandemic times.

If this week is anything like last, you won’t way to go far. We’ll be back tomorrow with a fresh batch of Disney madness.



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