The family animated offering Onward opened to a muted $40 million from 4,310 theaters in North America, one of the lowest nationwide starts for the storied Pixar brand.
It’s unclear how much of an effect worries over the coronavirus had on moviegoing in the U.S. over the weekend, or whether Onward faced its own challenges. Comparisons to last year — when Captain Marvel opened to $153 million — were always going to be brutal. Overall, revenue for the weekend was down more than 50 percent from the same frame in 2019.
The impact of COVID-19 is clearly being felt overseas, where cinemas are closed in China and box office revenue is compromised in markets including South Korea, Italy and Japan. Onward came in well behind projections with an underwhelming $28 million from its first 47 territories for a global bow of $68 million. The movie did not open in any of the countries most impacted by the coronoavirus.
While Onward received strong reviews and an 86 percent “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes, it had only been tracking for a domestic launch in the $40 million-$45 million range even before the virus became a global concern.