DreamWorks Animation/Universal’s The Croods: A New Age looks set to lead the weekend in China where the cume is an estimated $11.7M through its first two days, and pre-sales are solid. This portends an FSS frame of $20M, per Uni, with family uptick throughout. Six other overseas markets are also getting a first look at the prehistoric family pic that’s directed by Joel Crawford, and are expected to round out the offshore session total to $21.6M for a $35.8M global bow when including domestic.
Friday’s $3M China opening was the third-highest for a Hollywood title in the market this year, coming in behind only Tenet and Mulan. It is running ahead of local titles including last week’s champ Caught In Time and Zhang Yimou’s new entry One Second. Word of mouth is strong with a 9.1 on Maoyan and Taopiaopiao as well as an 8.2 on Douban. The sequel’s Friday bow was on par with the original Croods’ first day (which was a Saturday back in 2013)
Looking back, it’s been seven years since DWA’s The Croods bowed in the early days of a China boom to come for Hollywood. At the time, the cavemen toon’s $63.3M local cume made China far and away the biggest market for the movie that had held its world premiere two months prior at the Berlin Film Festival.
But that gross might have been even higher had The Croods continued its extended run in the Middle Kingdom. In early June 2013, it was revealed that the film had been pulled when theater operators were said to have ceased showing it for “contract reasons.” It was also reported The Croods‘ extension might have been the reason behind the suspension when some domestic animation producers complained to then-watchdog SARFT about an overlong promotional period on the film. This was shortly after Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained had been yanked from theaters within minutes of its bow, and then re-released with cuts a month later.
Turning back to the current film, it’s possible it has legs to reach the heights of the previous installment. The weekend Middle Kingdom tally is currently coming in above the debuts of Hotel Transylvania 3, Coco, Finding Dory and Toy Story 4; and is in line with Ralph Breaks The Internet and The Incredibles 2.
We’ll have an international box office update on Sunday