Kubo And The Two Strings
|Budget: $57.8 million||Financed by: Laika|
|Domestic Gross: $48,023,088||Domestic Distributor: Focus|
|Overseas Gross: $28,463,516||
Directed by: Travis Knight
Produced by: Arianne Sutner
Laika financed the stop-motion animated Kubo And The Two Strings for $63 million and received a $5.2 million rebate from the state of Oregon, bringing the net budget to $57.8 million. After a good working relationship between Laika and Universal’s Focus, which collaborated on Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls, in late 2015 the two companies entered a three picture pact. Focus would handle domestic distribution and Universal International would handle most offshore markets. Kubo And The Two Strings marked the first movie of the deal. Focus dated Kubo for August 19, where it would bow against War Dogs and the disastrous remake of Ben-Hur.
Focus heavily invested in an expensive marketing push for the picture, spending $32.53 million just on national TV spots (as per iSpotTV), plus millions more on print, online, radio, etc — for a P&A spend far north of $40 million. Kubo was also heavily promoted during the summer 2016 Olympics, which was broadcast by NBCUniversal. Despite the marketing blitz and fantastic reviews, Kubo And The Two Strings was tracking for a modest $14 million weekend. Focus booked the pic into 3,260 theaters and it came in slightly below expectations with $12,608,372 — placing #4 for the frame led by Suicide Squad in its third weekend. Audiences gave Kubo a great A cinemascore and it saw a decent second weekend hold, declining 37.8% to $7,844,822 and it fell a mere 18.7% in its third frame to $6,375,278. Even with decent legs at the box office, Kubo And The Two Strings closed its domestic run with a disappointing $48,023,088. Focus would see returned about $26.4 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross. After ancillary sales are factored in, the film will likely be a wash for Focus, but little to no cash overages would flow back to Laika.
The three previous Laika features pulled in overseas numbers around $50 million and Kubo has struggled during its foreign rollout. Markets that had been receptive to Laika’s previous fare, have mostly ignored Kubo And The Two Strings. The UK gross was just $3.9 million, which posted the highest overseas receipts for Universal. UPI saw $22,090,759 from the offshore run. The China release pulled in an additional $6.3 million