“The Croods” Opens In First Place With $43.6 Million

DreamWorks’ The Croods opened in first place at the U.S. box office with $43.6 million. That is almost the exact same opening as Chris Sanders’ last film, How to Train Your Dragon, which opened with $43.7 million in 2010. It is also much stronger than the studio’s last film, Rise of the Guardians, which earned $23.8 million during its opening weekend last November. The Croods netted an additional $62.6 million from its foreign debut. Russia, which as we’ve established is crazy for DreamWorks animation, was the film’s top foreign market and generated $12.9 million in box office earnings.

In other box office news, The Weinstein Company’s Escape from Planet Earth is winding down its theatrical run. It grossed $477,522 in its sixth frame, upping its total to $53.4 million. GKIDS expanded Goro Miyazaki’s From Up on Poppy Hill into 6 theaters and grossed $59,693. The film’s two-week U.S. total stands at $131,927.

Nearly 600 people took our Croods box office poll which asked readers to guess how much the film would earn during its opening weekend. The correct choice—$42-44 mil—was the sixth most popular answer, guessed by 7.35% of readers. Here were the top five guesses:

10.93% of readers guessed $38-40 mil
10.04% of readers guessed $40-42 mil
9.5% of readers guessed under $25 million
8.78% of readers guessed $36-38 mil
7.53% of readers guessed $30-32 mil


  • shadypotential

    thank god. who knows what would have happened if this flopped.

    • Jason

      Rumor had it that they were banking on this movie so hard…I couldn’t imagine what would’ve happened if it flopped.

  • http://twitter.com/SarahJesness SarahJesness

    Not too surprising. I figured the film would do well; it looks pretty, there’s action, and it didn’t have much competition from either big-name films or even kid’s films.

  • Toonio

    Good job Dreamworks, against all odds…

    • jonhanson

      Against all odds? It was made by one of the biggest and most profitable animation studios in the world!

      • Toonio

        yep the same one that had to lay off lots of people based on projections.

  • Ringtail Badger

    Think how much more it would eventually gross if they had ditched the “neanderthal” vs “Cro-magnon” characters and went with Sanders much more attractive designs.

    • FrostIce

      I love Chris Sanders, but honestly, all of his self designs look the same. So I don’t think I would have enjoyed the Generic Sanders Film as much as it is right now. All the men would have the same look, all the women would be pretty which wouldn’t fit this film at all, and all the animals would look like Stitch. Really, it’s fine the way it is.

      And for people who think only 2D can capture Sanders designs, look at the tiger and try to tell me 2D would be able to capture those colors as effectively.

      • Jason

        To be fair, Sanders designs aren’t translating well with Dreamworks 3d department. There’s a rift or something, maybe creative differences I don’t know, but there’s clearly a fundamental difference between the amazing designs and the actual mediocre finalized 3d characters. It’s pretty drastic too and isn’t on all the character(grandma looked awesome for example) but on enough of them.

        • Funkybat

          This movie felt more “Chris Sanders” than HTTYD but I tend to agree that his art is better rendered in 2D form. It’s too bad all the studios have jumped back on the early 2000s bandwagon of “no more 2D features” even though it’s just a matter of time until some studio does one or more again. 2D is never going to die, and I hope to see Chris Sanders involved in another 2D project someday.

      • wgan

        well said, that why design wise HTTYD is so successful they mixed Sanders design with majority of Nicolas Marlet designs, it worked so perfectly!!

    • OtherDAn

      Neanderthal vx Cro-Magnon was kind of the point behind the picture. In that regard, I think the shapes worked well. But, I agree that the stuff that clearly had his touch were exceptionally appealing.

    • jonhanson

      I love Sander’s designs, but I also love these designs. The final designers definitely pushed the characters in some more interesting directions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Sullivan/100001833542564 Matt Sullivan

    i had guessed 42.2 mil. i came very close

  • Revy

    Sadly, “Turbo” is completely in line with Dreamworks’ clearly-made-for-no-one-but-children storytelling style. For every Train Your Dragon, we have 3 Madagascars. Kung Fu Panda was impressive, Over The Hedge was surprising, but for the most part Dreamworks makes stuff only your kids can love. It’s hard to even remember that they once made Prince of Egypt…

    For the most part, Dreamworks makes flashy, star-packed, politely-irreverent ensemble comedies. That’s not bad, necessarily, but I’d like to see them take all that money and talent (and they have a lot of it!), and put them to use making something more heartfelt, beautiful, and truly well written. Not a rehash of a formula that we see from every other studio on the block as well.

    • Funkybat

      I can’t complain too much, because I feel like Dreamworks has been getting better on story and moving away from its old stereotypes in the past few years.

      I’d love to see them try something like “Road to El Dorado” again, it had all the artistic chops (or more) of Prince of Egypt, but with a much more lighthearted and exciting story. The characters also had a kind of chemistry (including some rather adult overtones) that you rarely see in American animated features.

      I hope they can continue to make their “kids films” such as Turbo more enjoyable to a general audience. Madagascar 3 was surprisingly enjoyable for me and other adults I know who saw it, way better than #2 for sure. I also though Monsters vs. Aliens and Megamind were better films than the trailers probably led most people to believe. The slapsticky goofy films CAN work for more than just kids and tweens, but it’s not easy. I can’t say I’m too excited about Turbo, but I will give it a chance either way. I’m still hoping they work out their “problems” with Me And My Shadow, that was the one film on their upcoming slate I was really excited about.

  • Alex

    I’m so unbelievably sick and tired of the generic, superficial rubbish Dreamworks pushes out. What for? Another blown-up franchise and more toys for Happy Meals bags. I’m so tired of seeing them abuse ad misuse the same story-telling formula. Sure, it’s tough thinking up new things in today’s jaded era, but at least make the viewer believe they aren’t just watching another version of the same story over and over again. Dreamworks features are everything that’s wrong with modern-day animation.

  • Lulu

    Incredibly well-said, I agree completely – Seeing some of Sanders’ boards of Eep had me a worried that she’d act like an overly-arched pin up girl. I was delighted to see Eep as a thick, athletic character and cried inner tears of joy at the “You’re so heavy!” “Thank you!!” joke.

  • Skip

    Just saw it, and I liked it a lot more than I had anticipated. It may not have been better than Kung Fu Panda or How to Train your Dragon, but I certainly liked it more than any of the other films that the Dreamworks Animation has produced so far. My initial impression upon viewing the trailer was that the designs of the neanderthal characters and the voice acting by Nicholas Cage bothered me, almost to the point of not wanting to see the film. What lead me in to the theatre was the fact that Chris Sanders directed it. Having now seen the film I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

  • JoeCorrao

    I liked it…really liked the characters (small cast where are the other cave people?) good pacing, not too annoying of a message(s), color, design, length. It seems like a cookie cutter story and the decided lets make them cavemen…Coulda been space themed, middle ages, fish, turtles, toys or whatever and it still works.

  • canimal

    2k&late comment, but How to Train Your Dragon is my all-time favorite movie, and when I heard Sanders was directing this as well I was eager to rush to the theater and ended up seeing this movie the day it came out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very impressed with anything except for the amazing visuals. The story was blah and the jokes were not funny. That being said I am very happy that it had a good performance at the box office. I will always support Dreamworks and root for their success.

  • Nikhita P.

    Completely agree with you. If Eep had the pin up girl look with sanders’ fat thighs and butt then she wouldn’t be taken seriously. It was so fresh to see a female lead with such an athletic torso with a tiny pelvis and a broad shoulder! she’s not attractive, but she has a gut!