Onward Box Office: Pixar's Latest Doesn't Have A Magical Second Weekend

Pixar Onward family reads Dad's message

Well, folks, this was not hard to see coming. In recent weeks there has been a lot of chatter about how the on-going pandemic would wind up affecting box office numbers, with people around the world not only worried about being in crowded spaces, but actively being warned against doing so. The effect of this has been noticeable in global ticket sales, but now we have this weekend's numbers to truly show that we are living in a totally new atmosphere. The film industry is taking a hit, as this past weekend resulted in the lowest domestic earnings for a normal Friday-to-Sunday in more than 20 years.

Take a look at the excessively depressing Top 10 chart below, with Dan Scanlon's Onward owning the top spot for the second week in a row, and join me after for analysis.

Those who regularly follow box office reports know that the typical drop experienced by a new release from its debut to its second weekend is between 40 percent and 60 percent, but global events unfortunately resulted in Onward performing as a statistical outlier. The numbers weren't all that great in its first three days, as the movie had the third weakest opening of any Pixar movie, and its financial situation definitely isn't made any better by the 73 percent drop it has now experienced.It should come as no surprise that this is the worst second weekend performance for any film released by the animation studio, as even Peter Sohn's The Good Dinosaur managed to make $15.3 million in its second lap after its disappointing Thanksgiving 2015 theatrical premiere, though the record books will require an asterisk.

Also factoring in foreign ticket sales, Onward has now made over $100 million internationally, though its journey to make any kind of real profit seems pretty impossible now. Budgets for Pixar films generally range between $175 and $200 million (before marketing and publicity), and people aren't exactly expecting a big box office bounce in the immediate future. It's true that there won't be any new competition for the film any time soon, as only upcoming wide release still on the calendar is Walt Dohrn's Trolls World Tour, which is still set to come out on April 10th, but that's only happening because the industry expects that nobody is going to be going to theaters right now.

To close out this section on a positive note, at least Onward was able to make eight figures this week... which is a box office feat we may not see again for a while.

As for the movies that didn't manages to make $10 million-plus this weekend, we first turn the conversation to Andrew and Jon Erwin's I Still Believe, which managed to be the highest earner among the new releases this week. The biopic about Christian music star Jeremy Camp got a warm reception from audiences, who delivered it an "A" grade on CinemaScore surveys, and it's a feather in the movie's cap that it managed to rank as highly as it did during such a crisis-struck weekend. Like the situation with everything else, the prospects for the future aren't exactly bright.

Sadly, David S.F. Wilson's Bloodshot sits in a much worse position despite making just $200,000 less than the religion-tinged musical drama. After all, the comic book movie was made with a reported budget about four times the size of its direct competition, and it doesn't really have an avenue towards making a profit on the big screen at this point. It will stick around on the Top 10 for a while just because there won't be anything new to push it out, and money will continue to trickle in, but it's going to be a real challenge for the action flick to make back the costs of making it.

Finally we have Craig Zobel's The Hunt, which is in a position arguably between I Still Believe and Bloodshot despite making less money and only managing to grab the number five slot in the rankings. The $5.3 million figure you see above is definitely a bummer, but what works in the horror-comedy's favor is the fact that it's a Blumhouse release a.k.a. it didn't take a whole lot of cash to make it. One definitely does have to wonder what would have happened if the film had been released last fall as originally planned, even amidst all of the controversy, but that's a question to which we'll never really have a definitive answer.

This is normally the part of this weekly feature where I discuss what's coming out next week, but with John Krasinski's A Quiet Place: Part II leaving the schedule the answer is "nothing." Still, I'll be back next Sunday to report on the box office numbers and how things continue to play out during the on-going pandemic.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.