One animated feature is bucking the trend, and rather than delaying its release date, it’s moving it forward.
Universal will now release the Dreamworks Animation film The Croods: A New Age on Wednesday, November 25, instead of its originally scheduled December 23 launch. The date shift is being done reportedly because of Universal’s confidence that Disney won’t release Pixar’s Soul in theaters on November 20. We hinted at this possibility yesterday, however Disney insiders still claim that the film will be released as planned, which means that the movies could be battling each other over the Thanksgiving holidays.
Deadline offered a compelling reason for why moving The Croods up on the calendar made sense for Universal:
With Universal’s new shortened theatrical-PVOD window with AMC, they stand to make money with the DreamWorks Animation feature during two lucrative holiday periods: on Thanksgiving in theaters, and over Christmas in homes on PVOD.… Following Trolls World Tour’s day-and-date theatrical-PVOD release over Easter weekend during the pandemic (the nation’s big theaters were closed), AMC became irate about Uni’s plans for theatrical-PVOD releases. But it worked out a sweetheart deal where the exhibitor would benefit from shortened Uni theatrical releases going straight to PVOD, essentially getting a share of such streams. Other exhibitors I understand are boarding similar deals with the studio. Uni reportedly made close to $100 million in the PVOD release of Trolls World Tour.
The first Croods movie, released in 2013, made $587.2 million at the global box office, with a particularly big chunk of that (68.1%) coming from outside of the United States.