Universal’s ‘The Croods: A New Age’ dominates Thanksgiving box office amid pandemic

The DreamWorks animated film made more than $14 million, according to Universal Pictures

“The Croods” are king for Thanksgiving weekend.

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Universal Pictures’ animated sequel, “The Croods: A New Age,” brought in around $14.2 million for the holiday weekend, the Associated Press reports. That multimillion-dollar estimate comes straight from the studio on Sunday.

However, tabulations from Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro suggest the PG-rated family film raked in more. As of Sunday afternoon, the box office revenue website claims “The Croods” earned more than $17 million domestically and $20 million internationally.

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By pandemic standards, the film’s performance is a resounding success. Other films that have braved a release during COVID-19 encountered opening weekends that are in the low millions.

DreamWorks made an animated sequel to "The Croods" for Universal Pictures. (DreamWorks Animation via AP)

For example, last week’s box office winner, “Freaky,” had made around $7.4 million in the global box office in a nine-day span. Now the body swap dark comedy sits on a little more than $11 million after 16 days since its release, $1.1 million of which was brought in between Wednesday and Sunday from domestic ticket sales.

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“The Croods: A New Age,” which released in the U.S. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, reportedly made $15.9 million more in domestic ticket sales than “Freaky’ did in those five days if Box Office Mojo’s data is correct.

Other box office contenders “The Croods” surpassed for the Nov. 25 to 29 holiday weekend include Robert De Niro’s “The War with Grandpa” ($891,635 domestic), Kevin Costner’s “Let Him Go” ($664,000 domestic) and Gillian Jacobs’ “Come Play” ($518,000 domestic).

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Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been a pivotal time for blockbusters. And before the coronavirus pandemic, blockbuster movies released around that time raked in tens of millions of dollars.

In the last four years, the top-grossing movies for Thanksgiving weekend were all from The Walt Disney Company, including “Frozen II,” which made a cumulative gross of $35 million in 2019, “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” which made $41 million in 2018, “Coco” at $35 million in 2017 and “Moana” at $33 million in 2016.

Unlike these top-grossing films, “The Croods: A New Age” was released in 2,211 theaters throughout the U.S. Critical markets such as New York City, Los Angeles, Colorado and several others are either closed or operate with capacity restrictions due to the pandemic.

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Despite the challenges the novel coronavirus has inflicted on movie theaters and production studios, the amount “The Croods” has made thus far shows moviegoers are willing to show up for family-friendly films, even as multiple surveys suggest that moviegoers are concerned about health and safety protocols.

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Last month, 65.5% of U.S. consumers said they would return to theaters after the pandemic is over, according to Colling Media, a digital marketing and advertising agency.