Box Office: 'Croods 2' Biting Off $14M-Plus Thanksgiving Bow

The Croods: A New Age (2020)
Courtesy of Universal

The animated family film is selling more tickets than projected considering widespread theater reclosures in markets across the country because of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Croods: A New Age earned $3.9 million on Black Friday for a better-than-expected five-day debut of $14 million-plus in North America if projections hold.

That includes a three-day weekend tally of $9.7 million, as strong as Tenet. From Universal and DreamWorks Animation, the family animated pic opened on Wednesday, and is playing in 2,211 theaters (or just about any location that remains open).

Globally, Croods 2 is headed for an estimated $35.8 million bow, including $20 million from China.

While those numbers pale in comparison to past Thanksgiving titles, Croods 2 is welcome news for Hollywood, considering there are widespread theater reclosures in major markets across the country because of a surge in COVID-19 cases. And those cinemas that remain in operation are dealing with dramatically reduced capacity and stay-at-home orders.

Croods 2 is the first major studio film to brave opening on the big screen amid the ongoing pandemic since Tenet, and the first major family film.

Parents and kids are turning out in force, with 41 percent of ticket buyers under the age of 17, according to PostTrak.

In recent days, hundreds of theaters have had to reclose in states across the country, including many major moviegoing markets, because of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Thanksgiving is normally one of the most lucrative corridors of the year. Last year, Disney and Pixar's Frozen 2 collected more than $100 over the long four-day weekend (Thursday through Sunday). It finished the weekend with a domestic total of $288 after opening a week earlier on Friday, Nov. 22.

Universal is able to stay in the theatrical game because of a landmark deal it has struck with AMC Theatres and Cinemark Theatres that shatters the traditional theatrical window by allowing Universal titles to go to premium VOD early.

Croods 2 will be available on PVOD in roughly three weeks, in time for Christmas.

The movie's voice cast sees the return of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Cloris Leachman. Franchise newcomers include Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann and Kelly Marie Tran.

Joel Crawford helmed the sequel in his feature directorial debut from a screenplay by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan.