Laika’s stop motion film ParaNorman opened last weekend in third place at the U. S. box office with $14.1 million. Despite opening in one thousand theaters more than Laika’s previous film Coraline, the film still didn’t match the $16.8 million opening of the earlier film. ParaNorman did, however, top last April’s $11.1 million opening of Aardman’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits.
ParaNorman‘s disappointing opening is a reminder that stop motion doesn’t generate the huge box office returns we’ve come to expect from major computer animated features. It’s debatable whether the lower grosses are attributable to the technique of stop motion, the type of stories that artists tell with stop motion animation, or the simple fact that no stop motion film has ever enjoyed the type of massive marketing push that accompanies the typical CG feature.