‘The Croods 2’ Leads Depleted U.S. Box Office

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'The Croods 2' Leads Depleted U.S. Box Office

LOS ANGELES, Feb 21 (Variety.com) – Need a reminder of just
how imperiled moviegoing, at least in the U.S., remains due to
the pandemic? Look no further than domestic box office charts.
“The Croods: A New Age,” which debuted theatrically in November,
was the No. 1 movie in North America.

The Universal Pictures animated sequel nabbed $1.7 million
from 1,913 venues over the weekend, enough to bypass recent
releases like Denzel Washington’s “The Little Things” and “Judas
and the Black Messiah” for the second weekend straight. After 13
weeks in theaters, “The Croods” sequel has earned $50 million
and could eventually pass “Tenet” ($58 million) as the
highest-grossing movie in the coronavirus era.

The domestic box office landscape is starkly different from
China, where ticket sales this year have soared to record
levels. Already, the country has fielded several bona fide
blockbusters in 2021, such as “Detective Chinatown 3,” “Hi, Mom”
and “A Writer’s Odyssey.” In total, those titles and others
generated a record $1.2 billion in ticket sales over China’s
Lunar New Year holiday. It may be hard to believe the depleted
U.S. box office could similarly return to pre-pandemic levels
any time soon, though analysts and studio executives look to
China with optimism.

“The results out of China are certainly encouraging,” says
Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore. ”
demonstrates that an effective pandemic response, combined with
a steady stream of local product, can do wonders for the bottom
line.”

It may, however, take some time to see U.S. box office
levels return to normal levels, Dergarabedian predicts.

“As the vaccine rollout continues in the U.S. and cases
decline, this portends a very robust future for the domestic box
office,” he says.

Elsewhere in North America, “The Little Things” made $1.2
million from 2,061 locations, enough for second place. The
movie, which also stars Rami Malek and Jared Leto, has amassed
$11 million in four weeks. “Judas and the Black Messiah” came in
third, generating $905,000 for a total of $3.3 million. Those
films, both from Warner Bros., are available to watch on the HBO
Max streaming service.

Another Warner Bros. title, “Wonder Woman 1984,” captured
the No. 4 spot with $805,000. The superhero sequel, led by Gal
Gadot, has generated $42 million in the U.S.

Open Road’s “The Marksman,” a thriller starring Liam Neeson,
rounded out the top five with $775,000. That brings its domestic
tally to $11.4 million.