LAIKA and Focus Features, the two companies behind the hit animated feature The Boxtrolls, will continue their partnership on LAIKA’s next three projects. Focus CEO Peter Schlessel and LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight made the announcement today.
As with the three movies that the companies have partnered on previously, Focus will distribute the next three movies domestically, and Universal Pictures International will release them overseas.
Focus opened The Boxtrolls nationwide last weekend to a $17.3 million gross, marking the biggest debut yet for a LAIKA movie. The Boxtrolls follows the successful and acclaimed Focus and LAIKA animated films Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), each of which grossed over $100 million worldwide. Coraline earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and Academy Award® nominations for Best Animated Feature Film; and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI) with an AFI Award. ParaNorman was cited as best animated feature film by more critics’ groups than any other 2012 animated feature; and earned BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and Academy Award® nominations for Best Animated Feature Film.
The Boxtrolls has also been released in 16 international territories to date, including the United Kingdom, where it was #1 at the box office for two weeks in a row; and Australia, where after just over two weeks it has already grossed more than either Coraline or ParaNorman did during their entire runs.
Mr. Schlessel commented, “I am very pleased to continue our relationship with our friends at LAIKA. Travis and his company have elevated the art of animated films and we are proud to be part of their success.”
“Focus and LAIKA are kindred spirits,” said Mr. Knight. “Over eight years and three films we’ve forged an incredible bond over a shared love for, and commitment to, bold, distinctive, and enduring stories. Peter and his superlative team have created a welcoming home for original voices and enriching, challenging filmmaking. They’re the bravest studio in the world. We look forward to many ongoing cinematic adventures with our Focus/Universal family. The best is yet to come.”
Fueled by the vision of its owner, Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight, and its President and CEO Travis Knight, LAIKA (www.laika.com) is a feature film animation company located just outside Portland, Oregon. LAIKA’s first two films, Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), were nominated for Academy Awards® and BAFTA Awards.