‘Croods 2’ Nabs Promising $35M Global Bow

Meanwhile, Chris Nolan’s Tenet has topped $300 million in overseas grosses.

In a normal world, there’d be nothing “good” about a big DreamWorks Animation sequel, The Croods: A New Age, opening with $14.22 million over a Wed-Sun domestic Thanksgiving weekend and $35.02 million worldwide. For example, The Penguins of Madagascar disappointed on this very weekend in 2014 with a $25 million Fri-Sun/$35 million Wed-Sun debut before earning a halfway decent $83 million domestic and $373 million worldwide cume on a $132 million budget. Ditto Rise of the Guardians, which opened over Thanksgiving 2012 with $23 million/$32 million on its way to $103 million domestic and $307 million worldwide on a $145 million budget.

Beyond the expectations of long legs (due to being the only biggie between now and Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas) and most of the world still left to open, The Croods: A New Age only cost $65 million. So, yeah, with a current worldwide cume of $35 million with most of the world left to go over the next couple of months, it’s not beyond the pale that this well-liked (it earned an A from Cinemascore) and somewhat well-reviewed (72% fresh and 6.4/10 from Rotten Tomatoes) animated flick might stick around.

That’s especially in territories where it won’t be heading to PVOD in a matter of weeks. Deadline reported that Universal spent $26.5 million on TV spots and related digital marketing, so this (seemingly) isn’t a case where a studio spent $100 million marketing a $65 million movie, so we could (emphasis on “could”) see this flick be an outright hit in theaters alone even before PVOD.

Offhand, a multiplier in North America like Penguins of Madagascar gets this one to $33.7 million domestic, while legs like Rise of the Guardians gets it to $45.7 million domestic. Either result would be the biggest such post-Covid cume since Tenet, which has legged out to $57 million thus far from a $20.2 million “long” domestic opening.

Speaking of which, Tenet only earned $9.4 million in its straight-up Fri-Sun opening frame, meaning The Croods: A New Age scored the biggest domestic opening since Pixar’s Onward disappointed with $38 million back in early March. Legs like Tenet, relatively speaking, gets The Croods: A New Age to $40 million. Slight digression, Chris Nolan’s sci-fi actioner has passed $300 million overseas, for a new $358 million global cume.

Circumstances notwithstanding, the only reason there’s any reason to be happy about these results is because the DWA sequel cost around half what DWA toons usually cost. The film opened in around 30% of its overseas footprint this weekend, meaning theoretically we could see a cumulative global launch of around $83.5 million. Now some markets/countries are doing better than others in terms of Covid-19 containment and the PVOD factor (it’ll debut at hope before Christmas) complicates things, so this is more “fun with math” than “ironclad prediction.”

But an $83.5 million global debut and even a 3x multiplier gets this film to $250 million, which would be just under four times the production budget. But unless the film outright tanks in the other overseas markets over the next month or two, the magic “2.5x the budget” number ($162 million) is absolutely in reach after this weekend. It could be Hollywood’s first “big” theatrical hit since Universal and Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man in late February.

The Croods 2 played 53% female, and 32% to parents, with 66% of the audience made up of folks under 25 and just 3% non-parental “at least old enough to rent a car or older” adults. This gives Comcast

four out of the top five titles this weekend (along with 101 Studios’ The War With Grandpa which has earned $17 million from a $3.7 million debut) and their fifth straight weekend of chart-toppers.

Meanwhile, Freaky has earned $12 million worldwide (on a $5 million budget) as it awaits its PVOD launch on December 4 along with the already available-at-home Come Play and Let Him Go. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner’s terrific Let Him Go ($9 million global) is ruling the Amazon

charts presumably thanks to the folks who have been buying seasons of Yellowstone all year long.

The $19 million launch in China was the year’s third-best Hollywood opening, behind only Mulan ($23 million for an eventual $40 million cume) and Tenet ($29 million/$66 million). Animated titles are frankly a coin toss in China, so this is a decent figure in any circumstance and more evidence that theatrical moviegoing as returned to “normal” in the biggest overseas territory.

It may be the one place next month where Wonder Woman 1984 gets a “business as usual” theatrical result. Correction, Wonder Woman 1984 may play “as expected” in Japan, as their marketplace has also comparatively recovered. Demon Slayer, a feature length toon based upon a popular episodic anime, has now sold more tickets than any other movie ever in Japan save for Titanic ($204 million in 1997) and Spirited Away ($230 million in 2002).

Demon Slayer ($248 million) will soon pass Universal’s Dolittle ($250 million worldwide) as the year’s sixth-biggest grossing movie. Barring best-case-scenario business from The Croods 2 and/or Wonder Woman 1984, three of the top six movies this year (The Eight Hundred, My People My Homeland and Demon Slayer) won’t be from Hollywood. Both Wonder Woman 1984 and The Croods: A New Age would need $165 million to (respectively) crack the top ten.

If The Croods: A New Age, not exactly a title for which audiences were foaming at the mouth with anticipation, can do it, then it’s entirely possible, if not remotely guaranteed, that Wonder Woman 1984 may end the year on a high note after all. Wouldn’t that be a Christmas miracle? Once again, Diana, we ask too much of you. Yes, I’m mixing Warner Bros. franchises. No, I don’t care.

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