The move indicates the studio’s confidence that, according to recent reports, Disney will move Pixar’s Soul out of the Thanksgiving stretch. Soul is still scheduled to debut November 20 on the same weekend as MGM’s No Time to Die.
Here’s the interesting proposition with The Croods: A New Age: 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. This plan isn’t definite, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if it happens especially as moviegoing remains unpredictable during the pandemic.
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, released by then DWA distribution partner 20th Century Fox, made $187.1M domestic and $587.2M at the global box office in 2013.
The departure of The Croods: A New Age from the year-end holiday period leaves the following wide releases behind for that span:
Dune (Warner Bros/Legendary)
Coming to America 2 (Paramount)
West Side Story (20th/Amblin)
Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros)
News of the World (Universal)
Escape Room 2 (Sony)