The animated sequel from Universal and DreamWorks pulled in a hair over $2 million domestically between Friday and Sunday, ticking up +21.4% from the previous weekend and returning to No. 1 for the first time since December 11, and an estimate for a total of $2.7 million for the four-day frame. Even though the PG-rated film has been available on premium VOD for two months, its long theatrical legs have made it one of the few COVID-era box-office success stories. The Croods 2 scored a $1,079 per-screen average in 1,890 theaters over the weekend, bringing its North American tally to $48.9 million. It has added $102.5 million overseas to date, bringing its cumulative worldwide total to an impressive $151.4 million.
In what was essentially a tight photo finish, Warner Bros.’ historical drama, Judas and the Black Messiah, had to settle for second place. The R-rated film, which stars Daniel Kaluuya as slain Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, debuted to an estimated $2 million exactly, with an estimate of $2.4 million for the full holiday. Judas managed a $1,059 per-screen average in 1,888 theaters. It also bowed on the HBO Max streaming service over the weekend. Already a strong awards-season hopeful (lead actor Kaluuya has received nods from the Golden Globes and SAG Awards), Judas should stick around for a while thanks to its juicy 96% Fresh rating from critics on RottenTomatoes and its ‘A’ grade from CinemaScore.
In third place was Denzel Washington’s The Little Things, which racked up just shy of $1.9 million in its third week of release. Also available on HBO Max, Warner Bros.’ R-rated crime thriller fell from the No. 1 slot, dipping -10.5% from the previous frame. The film, which also stars Rami Malek and Jared Leto and revolves around two cops hunting a serial killer, earned a $899 per-screen average in 2,090 theaters. Its three-week total in North America now stands at just under $9.7 million. Overseas, where HBO Max is not available, The Little Things has added $6.4 million so far, bringing its worldwide cumulative box office to $17 million.
In fourth place was yet another Warner Bros. title, Wonder Woman 1984, which lassoed $1.3 million in its eighth weekend. The superhero sequel, whose total domestic gross now stands at $41.8 million, got a +43.6% bounce from the prior session, scoring a $773 per-screen average in 1,681 theaters. However, the PG-13-rated DC title continues to perform better overseas, where it has pulled in $115.2 million thus far, bringing its cumulative global box office to $157 million.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Liam Neeson’s The Marksman, which brought in $1.1 million in its fifth weekend. The PG-13-rated border thriller from Open Road Films fell ticked up +14.6% from last week, nabbing a $602 per-screen average in 1,825 theaters. The aging action hero’s latest has pulled in $10.6 million domestically and $3.2 million abroad, bringing its worldwide total to $13.8 million. Bubbling just under the Top 5 was Focus Features’ newcomer, Land, which grossed $940,000 in its debut weekend. The PG-13-rated indie, which marks the feature directorial debut of actress Robin Wright and tells the story of a bereaved woman seeking to start a new life off the grid in Wyoming, wrangled a $763 per-screen average in 1,231 locations.
Meanwhile, the biggest box-office fireworks took place half a world away in China. Audiences turned out in droves to celebrate the Lunar New Year, resulting in a rare bit of good news during the industry-wide slump during the past year’s pandemic. The biggest winner was bumbling mystery caper, Detective Chinatown 3. The sequel came out of the gate to a staggering $397 million in the country, making it the biggest opening weekend ever in a single market, beating out previous record holder Avengers: Endgame’s $357 million in North America in 2019. The only question is whether it’s merely a one-time fluke or a glimmer of promise that the North American movie business might hopefully duplicate in the not-too-distant future.