DreamWorks Animation’s long-awaited Stone Age sequel adventure The Croods: A New Age will be arriving earlier than expected, with distributor Universal Pictures moving the release up from its December 23 slot to Wednesday, November 25. The bump adds to speculation that Disney-Pixar’s Soul may be opting for a Disney+ debut instead of its Thanksgiving theatrical holiday window.
The shortened theatrical-to-Premium VOD window negotiated between Universal and AMC (the largest cinema chain in the U.S.) after the studio’s day-and-date Trolls World Tour release sowed resentment amid COVID-19 shutdowns could mean that the Crood clan will get to take advantage of both a Thanksgiving big screen release and a Christmas PVOD debut — a winning strategy as the pandemic rages on and audience returns to theaters are unsteady. The Trolls sequel reportedly made close to $100 million in PVOD rental fees this spring.
The Croods: A New Age is being directed by DWA story artist Joel Crawford (Trolls Holiday) in his feature debut, from a script by Dan Hagerman and Kevin Hagerman. The sequel pits the prehistoric Croods against a rival “more evolved” family, the Bettermans. Voice stars Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman and Clark Duke return, joined by Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, Joanna Lumley and Kelly Marie Tran.
The Oscar-nominated first film, The Croods (2013), was directed by Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders and earned over $580 million in worldwide box office.
Update: Sony Pictures Animation’s much-anticipated feature Connected will no longer be released theatrically on Oct. 23rd as previously announced. No official date has been announced as of yet.
The theoretical theatrical release calendar for animation and VFX showpieces through the end of 2020 currently:
- Oct. 23 | Connected (Sony Pictures Animation) [Updated: the movie has moved to an unset date in 2020]
- Oct. 23 | Death on the Nile (20th Century)
- Nov. 6 | Black Widow (Marvel/Disney)
- Nov. 20 | No Time to Die (MGM/Universal)
- Nov. 20 | Soul (Disney-Pixar)*
- Nov. 25 | The Croods: A New Age (DreamWorks/Universal)
- Nov. 25 | Voyagers (Lionsgate)
- Dec. 4 | The Empty Man (20th Century)
- Dec. 18 | Dune (Warner Bros.)
- Dec. 25 | Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.)