Coraline, the 2009 stop-motion animated film by The Nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick, was a beloved hit from the instant it was released. It had box office success, critical acclaim, award recognition, and audience adoration. What few could have predicted though was the film’s staying power, which was on full display earlier this week.
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Coraline returned theaters for the third straight year thanks to Fathom Events, the company that puts on limited-run theatrical experiences. Over those two days, it grossed $4.91 million, putting it behind only Barbie and Oppenheimer in terms of total daily domestic gross. And actually, it outgrossed both mega hits in terms of per-screen average. The run was such an unexpected success, Fathom has teamed up with Laika to bring it back on August 28 and 29.
“As of now, Coraline is Fathom’s biggest classic movie of all time and the second highest grossing title for 2023,” Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom Events, said in a press release. “This film carries such a large fan following year after year, and they certainly came out in force this year to see their favorite film.”
“We’re thrilled to see throngs of Laika fans come out in record numbers for the third straight year to revel in this Coraline theatrical experience, this year in stunning 4K,” Laika’s chief marketing and operations officer David Burke added. “Our partnership with Fathom has solidified Laika’s modern cinematic classic as a must-see annual summer tradition.”
Based on a novel by Neil Gaiman, Coraline follows a young girl’s adventure when she finds an alternate universe inside her own house. The film was originally released in February 2009 and went on to gross almost $125 million. Accolades such as an Oscar nomination and multiple Annie Award wins followed, and now you can’t walk around any fan convention without seeing some Coraline cosplay, merch, or posters up for display.
So while it’s not necessarily a surprise that audiences turn up to see a modern classic like Coraline on the big screen, it is a surprise to see it do numbers better than the week’s new releases. It’s almost like people want to go to the theaters to see movies they love.
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