Coraline Premieres with Laika's Fate in the Balance
02.10.09 by REELZ
With a better than expected 3rd place performance and $16.3 million at the box office last weekend, Coraline surprised skeptics, but whether it did well enough to satisfy investors remains unclear. A lot is at stake for Laika Entertainment, a fledgling studio with dreams of one day rivaling Pixar in the animation world. Coraline is its first feature production and cost upwards of $35 million to make. Much of the money for this initial project came from Nike founder Phil Knight (pictured), but the eccentric billionaire is holding off on further financial commitments to see whether the film really does turn out to be a financial as well as a critical success. So, for now Laika remains in suspended animation. Nine follow-up projects are being contemplated, but so far none have been greenlit. And without definite work ahead, some of the stop-motion animators who helped put Coraline together have been laid off.