Kubo And The Two Strings

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  • Directed By: Travis Knight
  • Written By: Marc Haimes, Chris Butler
  • Release Date: August 19, 2016
  • Domestic Distributor: Focus
  • Cast: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes

Box Office Info:
Budget: $57.8 millionFinanced by: Laika
Domestic Gross: $48,023,088Overseas Gross: $28,463,516


The gross budget for Kubo And The Two Strings was $63M and after a $5.2M rebate from the state of Oregon, the net budget was $57.8 million.   Laika financed the stop-motion project.  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 stateside P&A spend at about $50 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 struggled during its foreign rollout.  Markets that had been receptive to Laika’s previous fare, mostly ignored Kubo And The Two Strings.  The UK gross was just $3.9 million, which posted the highest overseas receipts for Universal.  The offshore cume was only $28.4M.  Laika’s next picture was the box office disaster Missing Link (2019).

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