Friday, October 10, 2014

Bits Journal #28

The BoxTrolls is holding very well, and if my audience was any indicator, this film is going to have some serious staying power…

It dropped an excellent 28%, taking in $12 million for the weekend. It ought to keep at it, even though we have some animated (and in 3D no less) competition like The Book of Life and Big Hero 6 on the horizon. The former is very Halloween-esque with its Day of the Dead setting, so that could possibly challenge LAIKA's little trolls.

However, I think it may possibly do some really good business for a stop motion film. The Boxtrolls, I thought, was nowhere near as scary or frightening as the previous LAIKA films. This could work to its advantage, plus despite the film's out-there style, it still aims to be an out-and-out crowd pleaser with some big scale action, lots of laughs (my audience laughed at most of the funny bits), and a lot of appealing characters. Can it go higher than Coraline? Chicken Run perhaps? Reaching for the stars indeed, but you never know…

LAIKA's first two films also pulled great multipliers. Coraline made 4.6x its not-so-great $16 million opening back in 2009, ParaNorman grossed 4x its even smaller $14 million start three years later. The BoxTrolls, if it plays like the 2012 film, will gross around $68 million. Not too bad, a little below Coraline, but still a bit of alright. If it pulls a Coraline, it'll make roughly $79 million. I'm thinking it lands in the mid-60s for now, while worldwide it may just cruise. Coraline barely doubled its budget, ParaNorman didn't, maybe this might outdo its $60 million costs by a wide margin. We shall see!

In other news, LAIKA is set to continue their partnership with distributor Focus Features. Three more films are on the way (two of which will presumably be Wildwood and Goblins, which they said were in development over the last few years), the first of which - according to their CEO Travis Knight (who still has the nerve to put down the efforts of other animation houses) - will likely land in 2016. They better nab a date for it soon, as all the slots are slowly but surely being taken up by other animation studios.

We need to get stop-motion off the ground, big time. Chicken Run is the only one that has cracked $100 million domestically, but that was back in 2000, and at the time it was the highest grossing animated film that was not a Disney or Pixar film. No 3D, either. Adjusted, that gross is $161 million. Also, DreamWorks/Aardman/whoever… Why is this film not on Blu-ray yet? I wish to know!

This all makes me wonder… What's going on with Henry Selick's The Shadow King? Back in early 2012, Disney had it scheduled for an October 2013 release. However, new Chairman Alan Horn was brought in to replace Rich Ross in summer 2012, one of the first movies to get the axe was Selick's film. It's not entirely clear why, there was talk of the film not being up to snuff, and that Selick was really biding his time on it. LAIKA reportedly didn't pick it up because of budget issues, as $50 million was already spent on the film. It was canned, but Selick did say that it could be picked back up. It was then sold to distributor K5 International in early 2013.

We haven't heard anything about it since, but let's hope it resurfaces one day.

Did you like Batman in The Lego Movie? Who didn't! Guess what, he's getting his own movie spin-off! Reports had gone around since the day Warner Bros. nabbed 2018 and 2019 dates for Warner Animation Group projects, reports that suggested that the slots could go to Lego Movie spin-offs. We know Ninjago is coming, and that's currently set for a fall 2016 release. It's being reported that WB is fast-tracking the film for a 2017 release, which means it may push The Lego Movie 2 - currently slated for 5/26/2017 - out of its slot.

The only thing is, I don't want WAG's future to be Lego Lego Lego. Can we hear some updates on those original projects they announced back in 2013? Ya know, Storks and Smallfoot? What about that all-animated Flintstones movie?

That being said, I am a bit curious about this spin-off. Will it be like the Lego Batman games? Or will it be something fresh and new? Whatever it is, it should be a cool alternative to the Batman films we get today.

Brad Bird recently commented on what's going on with The Incredibles 2… Here's what he had to say, courtesy of Steven "Frosty" Weintraub of Collider…

Well how about that? The script is in the works, but it's not known if he's directing or not. Some speculated that Teddy Newton would get the gig, considering that he had a project in the works. That's up in there air now, as Teddy has supposedly left Pixar for Paramount Animation. I'm sure Bird's Incredibles 2 script is a knock-out, and I'm guessing he'll deliver it as soon as Tomorrowland hits. With that, production could logically take off next summer and the movie will be out by 2017/2018. I bet Disney and Pixar will want it very soon.

Coincidentally, the film's 10th anniversary is right around the corner… Maybe we'll get some kind of announcement that day.


  1. Im glad you brought this up--I get the feeling that the LEGO film series is going to be to WB what Shrek once was for Dreamworks. I'm just waiting for them to announce that Bone movie they said they were working on it a couple years ago. They ARE still working on it, aren't they?

  2. Also, this pretty much confirms my belief that WB thinks Batman is their only bankable character right now. Heck, that's probably why they put them in the LEGO Movie in the first place.

  3. DisneyToon is failing. Disney needs to turn it into a stop motion studio ASAP!!!