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SYFY WIRE Box Office

Thanksgiving box office: The Croods: A New Age hunts and gathers $14 million; sets new pandemic-era record

By Josh Weiss
The Croods: A New Age

DreamWorks Animation's Stone Age sequel, The Croods: A New Age, rocked (get it?) the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with a domestic box office haul of $14.22 million after it debuted in theaters this past Wednesday, Variety has confirmed. Overseas, A New Age netted $20.8 million for a worldwide haul of $35 million. China accounted for $19.2 million of foreign sales.

It's actually a pretty decent haul, especially when you consider the fact that key theatrical markets continue to remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With cases rises around the country, even more locations were forced to close their doors, so $14 million is nothing to shake a caveman's club at. Of course, it's nothing close to usual Thanksgiving returns; in regular times, the extended holiday is a prime window for ticket sales.

"This level of business is a far cry from typical Thanksgiving weekend releases, but success and failure in the middle of a pandemic should be viewed in relative terms,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro, told Variety.

With $9.71 million of its domestic gross brought in over the usual three-day weekend, the movie has set a pandemic-era box office record, unseating Tenet's $9.35 million debut when U.S. theaters first opened in late August/early September.

"I hope everybody gets to see this movie, whether it’s in the theater or at home. However they can see it because like I mentioned, we’ve really tried to infuse joy and laughter into this movie and I think it’s something we could use today," the film's director, Joel Crawford, recently said during a Zoom interview with SYFY WIRE.

Written by Kevin and Dan Hageman and Paul Fisher and Bob Logan, A New Age features an all-star voice cast of Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Man, Kelly Marie Tran, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman. After the events of the first movie, the Croods are no longer frightened cave people, but intrepid adventurers of the prehistoric world in which they live. The Croods find themselves locked in an evolutionary conflict when they meet the Bettermans, a family of more advanced hominids.

“For this film to outperform expectations in a less-than-half operational market indicates that moviegoers, especially families, miss the big screen experience and are seeking it out where safe and possible to do so,” added Robbins. “The industry still has a challenging road ahead through winter. But Croods’ debut is a preliminary sign of the resilience cinemas can show in the long run.”

The Croods was the only picture to cross $1 million this weekend. Elsewhere, Universal and Blumhouse's Freaky nabbed second place with $770,000. To date, the body swapping horror-comedy has made $7 million domestically and almost $11 million globally. Focus Features and Amblin Partners' techno-horror flick Come Play made $387,000, boosting its at-home cache to $8.7 million. Worldwide, its total sales stand at $10.6 million.

(DreamWorks Animation and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal)