The first four features from Laika, the Hillsboro, Oregon-based stop-motion studio, are set to get new home releases. Shout! Factory has acquired home entertainment rights for the films in the U.S.
The deal covers Coraline (2009), Paranorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014), and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), all acclaimed films and Oscar nominees. Laika’s latest release, 2019’s Golden Globe-winning Missing Link, is not included in the pact.
The four films have received home releases before, but Shout! promises souped-up presentations: “Leveraging unparalleled access to archived content from Laika,” it says, “new bonus content, collectible packaging, and specialty releases are in development.”
Melissa Boag, svp of family entertainment at Shout!, said: “We’ve been huge fans of Laika, [its president and CEO] Travis Knight, and his extraordinary team. Their legendary ingenuity, independent spirit, and compelling storytelling have inspired us and continue to entertain audiences worldwide. We’re incredibly excited about this new opportunity with Laika and look forward to presenting these beloved films with enlightening extras and lavish packaging to fans and collectors everywhere.”
David Burke, Laika’s chief marketing officer, added: “We’re delighted to launch our partnership with Shout! Factory. Their ability to maximize value for legacy titles by bringing films to entirely new audiences well after their theatrical release cycle is unparalleled in the industry. We look forward to a long and impactful relationship with these industry leaders.”
Laika has received widespread acclaim and its fanbase is wide, but its films have seen diminishing returns at the box office. Missing Link grossed only $26.3 million worldwide on a reported $100 million-plus budget. But the studio is at work on a new, as-yet-unannounced film. Last week, it revealed that it is funding the construction of a stop-motion studio at Maryland’s Bowie State University.
Shout! Factory (and its development and distribution arm Shout! Studios) have a big presence in animation. Films it has recently released or acquired include the forthcoming Chinese title The Legend of Hei, the Brazilian feature Tito and the Birds, and the library of American indie animation legend Bill Plympton.