‘Boxtrolls’ Opens with $17.3 Million; Laika’s Best-Ever U.S. Opening

boxtrolls-opening

Laika’s third feature film, The Boxtrolls, distributed by Focus Features, launched in third place in the United States with a final total of $17.3 million. The film was running head-to-head with The Maze Runner, which landed in second with $17.5 million. Final weekend numbers will be released Monday afternoon.

Boxtrolls managed to (barely) surpass Laika’s previous high, the $16.8 million debut of Coraline. Howevever, Coraline opened in 1,165 fewer theaters, and thus had a far higher per-theater average ($7,329 versus Boxtrolls’ $4,980).

Though it had a respectable opening, Boxtrolls was unable to capitalize on the recent lack of animated features at the box office and grow the audience for stop motion feature filmmaking in a significant way. While Boxtrolls also came close to beating the $17.5 million debut of Aardman’s Chicken Run, which is the best-ever U.S. opening for a stop motion film, both Chicken Run and Coraline had larger opening weekend audiences than Laika’s latest effort.

Boxtrolls also picked up an additional $5.1 million from 17 international territories, upping its foreign total to $17.7 million.


  • DangerMaus

    Way to try and put a positive spin on what is essentially a bomb of an opening. The opening for this film isn’t all that much better than for that OZ film earlier this year, and I’m pretty sure the budget for this film has to be higher than that one, considering the level of work in Boxtrolls.

    • AmidAmidi

      “Legends of Oz” had a $3.7 million opening and a per-theater average of $1,410. “Boxtrolls” had $17.3 million and a per-theater average of $4,980. The performance of the films are in no way similar, and make you look unknowledgeable for attempting to compare the two without offering a solid argument.

    • otterhead

      An animated film opening in third place is a far cry from being a ‘bomb’. Both previous Laika films opened lower, and were considered box office successes.

  • jhalpernkitcat

    I was really hoping it would get #1 at the box office this week–it was really terrific. I enjoy Laika’s films because they tend to step away from the usual “safe” boundaries of most animated films these days and manage to create something both dark and wonderful.(Parents may have to explain how allergies really work afterwards to younger children though)

  • Mr. James

    I saw it this weekend with my 3 year old son and he sat through the entire thing with nary a wiggle or distraction. Very visually stunning and enjoyable throughout.
    On it’s performance, I can report that in the theatre I went to for a 6:20 showing there were only 20 people tops in the seats on of those only 3 of the groupings actually had children in attendance with them. It was HEAVILY advertised on all of the kid networks here in the US so I’m surprised it didn’t do better with it’s target demographic.
    I did think that some of the accents were a bit thick and heavy for some of the characters so I actually missed some of the dialogue in a few spots due to poor sound mixing/editing and audio confusion.

  • http://tresportfolio.tumblr.com/ Tres Swygert

    Congrats on Laika’s highest box office debut, surpassing their previous films!

    It did have challenges this weekend with the Equalizer, as a reason for why The BoxTrolls couldn’t come in the no. 1 spot. I also believe a reason Laika has yet to really attract more audiences is their content/themes for their films. All their films have some sort of creepiness or monster like elements with their films. I continue to think and wonder why does Laika go that route, and not try to do other kinds of themes and storytelling. A variety would be nice, it could attract more audiences that way.

    While this weekend turned out well as a debut, I think the next few weeks will be more challenging. David Fincher’s Gone Girl is coming this weekend, and those who haven’t seen The Equalizer will now try to see it after many people have claimed that they enjoyed the film. I haven’t heard too much noise for The BoxTrolls, and that’s not good if word of mouth is not present. Especially for an animated film.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/JourneyTraveler NoahClue

    The premise, on paper, doesn’t quite lend itself a must-see image. Aside from the “OMG Laika is making another movie” appeal, there’s not really a hook like Coraline or Paranorman had in its advertising. Makes the lukewarm turnout unfortunate but not that surprising.

    Now to see how it fares against the year’s other big Halloween centric animated film: The Book of Life.

    • No Contest

      Laika >>>>>>>>>> RFX

  • Dawn Brown

    Amid, what was the production budget for Boxtrolls? Thanks.

    • AmidAmidi

      Haven’t seen an accurate figure yet.The last few Laika films were in the $60 million range, so we could reasonably assume that this film is also in the $60-70 million range.

  • Tom

    This was a great movie. Start to finish, this is what animated movies should be. Congratulations, Laika!

  • http://tresportfolio.tumblr.com/ Tres Swygert

    Interesting points you provided Bob. I think to debate your point of Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton had a stronger name for his project (reason #1) and that it was a brand new experience for audiences during that time, as it was the first full-length stop motion animated film to be shown in history (reason #2). In going back to reason #1, Tim Burton is all about creepiness that has been expected from audiences from his previous ventures in film.

    I can understand your point about the marketing, they fully didn’t share what was at stake with the story unlike their previous ones. That could really hurt them down the stretch, I hope it doesn’t though.

  • Mister Twister

    No doubt thanks to the reputation the company built with Coraline and Paranorman. Past success can go a long way.

  • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

    Of course, Nightmare Before Christmas wasn’t a big smash hit when it first came out because it was very unorthodox at the time for an American animated feature. The critics loved it then, but it has only been within the past ten years or so that its popularity has really taken off and the wider public has come to appreciate it (which is probably in no small part due to all of the merchandising it receives from Disney and Hot Topic).

  • akira

    don forget it kicked Frankenweenie’s butt (11.4 million)! I’m so glad they’re putting out these films even if not pixar perfect. i thought it was a sumptuous piece of filmmaking and i can’t wait to see what’s next from them. (hopefully this was successful enough to continue making these awesome laika films!)

  • jhalpernkitcat

    I think the reason Snatcher was in drag was because even though he got his point across about the “dangerous” box trolls, he needed a softer, more likable image to convey that they were dangerous. Lord Portly Rind seemed to clearly dislike Snatcher despite his business deal with him. On the other hand, everyone seemed to love Madame Frou Frou–especially Lord Portly Rind which may explain why Snatcher had to run around in drag. Either that, or the man secretly likes it–his middle name is Penelope for crying out loud.