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.