8:40 AM PST 11/27/2020 by Pamela McClintock
The Croods: A New Age earned $2.7 million on Thanksgiving Day for a two-day total of $4.6 million as the domestic box office endures its worst holiday in modern history amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Still, the film's performance is better than expected so far. Also, Universal was heartened to see that ticket sales were up 27 percent from Wednesday to Thursday (movies usually dip notably on Thanksgiving Day; last year Frozen 2 took in $15 million on Thursday, a 37 percent drop from Wednesday).
Overseas, Croods 2 debuted Thursday in China to $3 million.
From the Universal-owned DreamWorks Animation, Croods 2 is the first major studio film to brave opening on the big screen amid the ongoing pandemic since Tenet.
Complicating matters for Croods 2, in recent days, hundreds of theaters that were able to reopen this earlier fall have now been ordered to shut again 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 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.