“The Boxtrolls” Pays Price for Left-Wing Politics at Box Office
Laika’s latest stop-motion production, The Boxtrolls, opened at #3 at the box office this weekend with $17 million. It may be the highest opening for the studio, but it’s not a very good opening for a mainstream film. This is the price any studio is destined to pay when it taints its films, and even trailers for its slightly family-friendly fare, with divisive and partisan political and social positions.
For those of you who don’t know, Laika is a stop-motion animation studio founded in Portland, Oregon by Travis Knight (the son of Nike co-founder Phil Knight) as a result of him acquiring “claymation” company Will Vinton Studios (perhaps best-known for the California Raisins commercials), and later firing its namesake. Vinton’s work was never divisive or partisan, nor was it aiming specifically at the art-house crowd.
That all changed when the studio fired Will Vinton and changed its name to Laika.
It wasn’t just the fact that the studio was now just aiming its work at both the art-house crowd and coastal elites with creepy trash like 2009’s Coraline and 2012’s ParaNorman, their latter film had a socially hyper-political divisiveness we’ve never seen come out of an animated film. Not only did the film paint parents in a negative light, but the ending shamelessly exploited the LGBT issue, which I support, at children. They would later double down their social liberalism by taking cheap shots at traditional marriage supporters in the teaser for The Boxtrolls. Not to mention in 2012, and at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, they took unnecessary cheap shots at their much more successful competition and claimed they’re the only real animation studio left in America.
The result was a disappointing $56 million take for ParaNorman at the North American box-office. Especially disappointing was how much the film made on opening weekend, $14 million. The Boxtrolls’ $17 million may be good for the demographic of cinemaphiles that the film’s distributor, Focus Features (owned by NBCUniversal), has been aiming for since its founding, but it doesn’t fly if the film is aiming at a general audience.
That’s what happens when a studio like Laika alienates half the American public with the taint of liberal social issues.
Laika’s films claim they’re aiming at family audiences, but we all know they’re only aiming at art-house fans who live in the big cities.
And now the left-wing Laika is getting disliked back.