Surprise film has biggest Disney Plus movie debut of the year

(Image credit: Pixar)

A surprise Pixar film has had the biggest Disney Plus movie debut of the year, continuing its massive success story. 

Elemental, which was released earlier in 2023, originally debuted with Pixar's lowest ever opening weekend. But, the film has quietly gone on to gross over $486 million worldwide. It's even overtaken the juggernaut that is Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse at the international box office. 

According to a press release from Disney, Elemental is the year's most viewed movie premiere on Disney Plus (judged by the total stream time divided by the film's runtime)  – and it's even in the top 10 movie premieres ever for the streamer, pulling in 26.4 million views across its first five days of release. Elemental is also Disney Plus's most watched animated movie premiere since Turning Red hit the streamer back in March 2022. That's seriously impressive for a film that flew so under the radar upon its release, especially as it means it's beaten the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and The Little Mermaid

Elemental is a rom-com set in the lively Element City, where the four elements all live together. Ember, a fire resident, and Wade, a water resident, begin to fall for each other despite their myriad of differences in a heart-warming love story. The Good Dinosaur helmer Peter Sohn directs while The Half of It's Leah Lewis and Jurassic World Dominion's Mamoudou Athie star. 

Next up on Pixar's release slate is Elio, which sees a young boy transported from Earth to an alien organization. That film arrives on March 1, 2024. 

For more on Elemental, you can check out our exclusive interview with the cast and filmmakers through the link. You can also fill out your watchlist with our guide to the best movies on Disney Plus

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.