Laika are arguably the single most underrated studio in Hollywood, despite only having released five movies. To date, none of them have exactly set the box office alight, but they can afford to take a financial hit or two given that the outfit is owned by Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who has an estimated personal net worth of close to $40 billion.
Keeping it in the family, Knight placed his son Travis in charge of the production company, although the president and CEO briefly stepped away from his day job to make his live-action directorial debut on Transformers prequel Bumblebee. Relying entirely on stop motion to power their output is a risky strategy, and unfortunately, the critical acclaim that’s greeted every Laika effort hasn’t been reflected in the numbers.
To put things into perspective, The Boxtrolls is both their biggest hit and lowest rated movie, having earned less than $110 million globally on a $60 million budget, while it holds a 77% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Laika’s other four features are all sitting between 88% and 97% on the review aggregator, but their most recent effort Missing Link was a huge bomb, only recouping $26 million of the $102 million production costs in theaters.
However, a new report is now claiming that Laika are developing an animated Batman movie that’s set for release in 2024, which presumably means the Dark Knight is heading to the world of stop motion. Of course, the only source of this information comes from Reddit so you’re best not taking it at face value until more details are revealed, especially when Batman is the property of Warner Bros., and all of Laika’s films to date have been distributed by Universal subsidiary Focus Features.
After all, as awesome as a stop motion Caped Crusader sounds on paper, WB aren’t the type to lease out one of their most marketable commodities to a rival studio, especially with HBO Max on the rise. Then again, you never know and stranger things have certainly happened in Hollywood.
Source: Small Screen