With a Decent $11.4M Opening, Why is the Media Calling the Modestly Budgeted "Frankenweenie" A Bomb?

Posted 4:27 PM October 9th, 2012 by Senh Duong

Did anyone in the media take a look at the budget for “Frankenweenie?” I guess not. They were too distracted by Tim Burton’s name above the title.

For the record, the stop-motion animated feature only cost $39M to make, according to Box Office Mojo. Compared to computer-animated features, which generally cost $100M-$200M, that’s super cheap.

Also remember that Burton’s buddy Johnny Depp isn’t involved in this film. Their previous stop-motion collaboration, 2005’s “Corpse Bride,” opened to $19.1M and finished its domestic run with $53.4M.

Without Depp, an $11.4M opening for “Frankenweenie” really isn’t that bad. It could still eventually make back its budget from theatrical, depending on how well it holds up in the following the weeks.

“The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” another stop-motion feature released over the summer, had a similar opening with $11.1M. It was also well-reviewed and ended its domestic run with $31M. “Frankenweenie” will need a better hold to make back its $39M budget.

With great reviews (86% on Rotten Tomatoes) and an audience grade of B+ from Cinemascore, it should have decent legs until “Wreck-It Ralph” opens in November. Its main competition currently is “Hotel Transylvania,” which is doing surprisingly well. I guess there’s only room for one animated Halloween hit per year.

Still, I think there’s a decent chance that “Frankenweenie” can get to $39M because movies in the slower fall season tend to hold up better than films in the busy summer season.

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