‘The Croods: A New Age’ Animates a Sluggish Box Office with $9.7 Million Over the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend
Universal and DreamWorks’ animated sequel The Croods: A New Age came out of the gate with surprising force, pulling in $9.7 million at the domestic box office and easily securing the No. 1 spot over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The PG-rated film, which features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds, has racked up $17 million in North America since its Wednesday opening, making it a rare and much-needed pandemic-era blockbuster.

A follow-up to the 2013 family hit which took in $43.6 million during its debut weekend seven years ago (on the way to earning $187.2 million during its North American theatrical run), The Croods: A New Agescored a muscular $4,391 per-screen average in 2,211 theaters. It was the biggest domestic opening since Christopher Nolan’s Tenet bowed to $20.2 million back in September. Overseas, A New Ageadded $20.8 million, bringing its cumulative worldwide gross to $37.8 million.

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is traditionally one of the busiest of the year due to animated crowd-pleasers such asFrozen (which had a $93.6 million opening in 2013), Ralph Breaks the Internet (which had a $84.8 million opening in 2018), and Moana (which had a $82.1 millionopening in 2016). It should be noted that A New Age also received mostly positive reactions from critics (73% on Rotten Tomatoes) and seemed to connect with audiences, who gave it an “A” CinemaScore grade.

The film also proved the continued dominance of Universal, as the studio and its Focus Features division were responsible for four of the weekend’s top five films. Unlike most of the majors, which have pushed their biggest titles to 2021, Universal continues to actively release films thanks to its output deals with two of the largest theater chains, AMC and Cinemark, that allow for shorter theatrical windows before moving its releases to premium VOD and streaming platforms.

In the runner-up spot was Universal and Blumhouse’s body-swap, horror-comedy Freaky, which scared up $770,000 in its third week, falling -39% from the previous frame. The R-rated film, which stars Vince Vaughn as a serial killer and Kathryn Newtonas a high-school student who switch bodies on Friday the 13th, had a $443 per-screen average in 1,735 theaters. Freaky has earned $7 million domestically to date and $4.9 millioninternationally, bringing its total worldwide box office haul to $11.9 million.

In third place was 101 Studios’The War with Grandpa, which earned $643,937in its eighth week, falling just -13.8% from the prior frame. The PG-rated comedy starring Robert De Nirocontinues to be encouragingly resilient since opening on October 9, snagging a $429 per-screen average in 1,500 theaters. Its North American box-office total now stands at $17.3 million. The kid-friendly comedy has also added $8.4 million abroad to date, bringing its worldwide tally to $25.6 million.

In fourth place was Focus Features’ Let Him Go, which made $459,000 in its fourth week, dipping -36.6% from the previous session. The R-rated thriller starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as grandparents racing to rescue their young grandson from peril managed a $317 per-screen average in 1,447 theaters, bringing its domestic box-office total to $8.7 million. The movie has tacked on a negligible $73,250 overseas to date.

Focus also held onto fifth place with its PG-13-rated chiller, Come Play. In its fifth week, the horror movie about a monster that manifests itself through mobile devices fell -30.8%, eking out $389,000 in 1,364 theaters, which translates to a $285 per-screen average. Its domestic total now stands at $8.7 million, with another $2.1 millioncoming from overseas markets, bringing its worldwide total to $10.8 million.

The other debut that managed to crack the Top 10 this weekend was Warner Bros.’ re-release of its beloved 1989 yuletide staple, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The dysfunctional Chevy Chase-comedy landed in tenth place with $170,000 in 308 theaters, which equals a $551 per-screen average. Christmas Vacation the third installment in the Griswold family series, made $71.3 million domestically (not adjusted for inflation) in its original run 31 years ago.