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‘Croods’ and ‘Half-Brothers’ Lead Universal-Dominated Box Office Weekend to Less Than $9 Million

Universal's six titles in the top 10 included "Freaky," "All My Life," and "Let Him Go." All are available on Premium VOD or will be soon.

“The Croods: A New Age”


Few titles open at the North American box office post-Thanksgiving weekend, which usually is one of the weakest of the year. In 2019, that meant it fell short of $100 million. This year, it will see less than $9 million. Fewer than half of domestic theaters are open, of course, but the biggest barrier remains audience resistance to theaters during the pandemic.

Thanks to “The Croods: A New Age,” this isn’t the lowest-grossing weekend since theaters began reopening in mid-August. That sequel received most of the action, along with five other titles from Universal and its specialty division Focus Features.

(from left) The Butcher (Vince Vaughn) and Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) in "Freaky," co-written and directed by Christopher Landon.


Photo Credit: Brian Douglas/Univ

Three of those titles — “Freaky,” “Let Him Go,” and “Come Play” — are already available at home for $19.99 after each spent three weeks in theaters.  With the absence of product, they continue to place in the top 10. The three other films, including “Croods,” will also land on VOD platforms this month.

There were two new releases this week: “Half-Brothers,” a dramedy directed by “Role Models” producer Luke Greenfield, and  the based-on-a-true-story romance “All My Life,” from “My Friend Dahmer” director Marc Meyers. Together, they grossed a little over $1 million and that was enough for them to place #2 and #4, respectively. They’ll be available at home in three weeks, but at this point the question is whether this theatrical debut is even enough to serve as a loss leader for their $19.99 PVOD debuts. By that time, “Soul” and “Wonder Woman 1984” will be available for free to Disney+ and HBO Max subscribers.

The post-Thanksgiving weekend usually sees some of the biggest drops of the year, averaging over 50 percent; this year it was closer to 40 percent. It’s normal that the biggest fall would come from “Croods,” since it was last week’s new title. At 55 percent it was at the high end for the week, but that’s less than “Frozen II” dropped last year , when it was in its second week.

“Elf,” the 2003 Will Ferrell comedy from New Line Cinema, spent its third week in the top 10 while also thriving on streaming sites; it’s been #1 at Apple TV for the past few days. Is this a sign of parallel platforms thriving, and perhaps aiding each other? It’s too early to draw that conclusion, but it’s something to consider in the months ahead.

"The Godfather Coda"

“The Godfather Coda”

Everett Collection/Paramount

Debuting out of the top 10 was “The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.” Despite major media attention, it earned $52,000 in 179 theaters. That’s $291 per theater for Francis Ford Coppola’s tweaking of the 1990 “The Godfather Part III,” but this release is meant to elevate attention ahead of home availability Tuesday. “The Godfather” films were defining moments in film history; perhaps not unlike most films going forward, their legacy will live on via different means.

The Top 10

1. The Croods: A New Age (Universal) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$4,400,000 (-55%) in 2,205 theaters (-6); PTA (per theater average): $1,995; Cumulative: $20,300,000

2. Half Brothers (Focus) NEW

$720,000 in 1,369 theaters; PTA: $526; Cumulative: $720,000

3. Freaky (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #2 – also available on Premium VOD

$460,000 (-42%) in 1,502 theaters (-233); PTA: $306; Cumulative: $7,740,000

4. All My Life (Universal) NEW

$350,000 in 970 theaters; PTA: $361; Cumulative: $350,000

5. The War With Grandpa (101) Week 9; Last weekend #3

$329,359 (-44%) in 1,285 theaters (-215); PTA: $256; Cumulative: $17,635,000

6. Elf (Warner Bros.) REISSUE; Last weekend #7

$(est.) 240,000 (-34%) in 681 theaters (-139); PTA: $352; Cumulative: $(adjusted): $266,300,000

7. Come Play (Universal) Week 6; Last weekend #5 – also available on Premium VOD

$235,000 (-37%) in 773 theaters (-256); PTA: $304; Cumulative: $8,981,000

8. Let Him Go (Focus) Week 5; Last weekend #4 – also available on Premium VOD

$215,000 (-53%) in 1,113 theaters (-334); PTA: $193; Cumulative: $9,032,000

9. Honest Thief (Open Road) Week 9; Last weekend #6

$190,000 (-46%) in 785 theaters (-190); PTA: $242; Cumulative: $13,829,000

10. Die Hard (Disney) REISSUE

$189,000 in 1,172 theaters; PTA: $161; Cumulative: $ (adjusted): $186,600,000

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