Still image from Pixar's Soul

Hollywood’s approach to film releases has recently shifted, to say the least. The Christmas release of Disney/Pixar’s Soul was a case study in these approaches, arriving on Disney+ instead of in theaters as originally planned. Disney’s gamble may have paid off as the animated film hit a box office milestone in the overseas market.

According to Deadline, Soul managed to gross a total of $96.2 million in foreign markets after being released only seven weeks ago. Its total box office gross so far in China has comes to $55.8 million. This number pushed the film to become the second-highest-grossing Pixar film of all time in China. It obtained the title by surpassing another beloved Disney/Pixar release: 2018’s Incredibles 2. Given its release on Disney+, this record is a great feat during the ongoing pandemic. The film managed to reach the milestone as the country prepared for Lunar New Year as well as its biggest market, Beijing, only allowed for 50% capacity at most establishments, including movie theaters. Soul still managed to rake in a weekend total of $1.8 million.

China wasn’t the only film market where Soul ruled the box office. The Pete Docter-helmed animated film added another $6.9 million to its international box office total. It also came in at No. 1 for both the Russian and South Korean box office. Clearly Soul has managed to keep a stronghold over both international markets.

Despite its performance, the film did experience a drop in Russia and South Korea box office at 21% and 25%, respectively. The Disney/Pixar film managed to gain another title by becoming the third highest-grossing Pixar release in Russia with a gross of $11.6 million at the box office. It brought in an additional $2 million in South Korea, bringing its total in the country to $10.1 million.

Soul’s box office record in China shouldn’t be much of a surprise. In January, it was forecasted the Disney/Pixar’s latest offering would surpass Incredibles 2 in the Chinese market. The film’s record came at a pivotal time as February is Black History Month. To have Pixar’s first film with a Black lead reach such a record spoke volume. The film’s lead Jamie Foxx recently celebrated Soul’s nine NAACP Image Award nominations with a spirited Instagram post.

Soul has been on a roll since it was released late last year. It received acclaim from both critics and audiences, with many citing its portrayal on contemporary Black culture and usage of jazz music. The acclaim paid off as it became a huge hit for Disney+ on the usually tough Christmas Day weekend box office. If you still haven’t checked out the acclaimed animated film, you can stream Soul on Disney+.

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