Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie debuted weakly last weekend in fifth place with $11.4 million. The opening is significantly lower than Burton’s last stop motion feature, The Corpse Bride, which debuted with $19.1M in 2005.
The opening of Frankenweenie concludes this year’s great stop motion experiment. It was the third high-profile stop motion feature this year, following Aardman’s The Pirates!: Band of Misfits and Laika’s ParaNorman. None of the three films were able to crack a $15 million opening. In fact, no stop motion feature has ever had an opening north of $20 million. It begs the question, Are stop motion films simply incapable of grossing as much as CG or has no one ever made a stop motion film with mass audience appeal? In a year with more stop motion features than usual, it’s a question worth considering.