Box Office: ‘The Croods 2’ Tops ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

FILE PHOTO: London Film Festival 2018
FILE PHOTO: Actor Daniel Kaluuya arrives at the European premiere of "Widows" during the London Film Festival, in London, Britain October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

February 15, 2021

By Brent Lang

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods: A New Age” topped an anemic domestic box office, grossing just over $2 million in its twelfth week of release. The family film has grossed just under $49 million. It is eyeing a President’s Day weekend gross of $2.7 million and is playing in 1,890 theaters.

That modest figure was enough to hold off a buzzy new release, “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The galvanic look at Black Panther leader Fred Hampton scored rave reviews and opened to $2 million. It is projected to gross $2.4 million and should end the weekend in second or third place. The Warner Bros. release is also debuting simultaneously on HBO Max, following in the footsteps of “Wonder Woman 1984” and “The Little Things,” a thriller with Denzel Washington. “Judas and the Black Messiah” is expected to be a major awards season player — it’s attracting Oscar attention for stars Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, as well as for director and co-writer Shaka King.

“The Little Things,” now in its third week of release earned $2 million. It will end the holiday with another $2.4 million in the bank, which will mean it will fight for second or third place with “Judas and the Black Messiah.” “Wonder Woman 1984” picked up $1.1 million, which should be enough to capture the fourth or fifth spot on the charts. The superhero sequel has earned since $41.8 million opening in theaters and on HBO Max over Christmas.

Open Road’s “The Marksmen” rounded out the top five, earning $1.1 million. It is expected to gross $1.3 million over the President’s Day holiday and has earned $10.6 million in five weeks of release.

These meagre grosses come as much of the domestic box office remains shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. The box office was also negatively impacted by winter storms that swept across the midwest. The inclement weather was somewhat offset by recent cinema re-openings in the likes of Chicago and Portland.

There were a number of prominent new releases entering the enfeebled marketplace. Focus Features’ “Land,” which marks the feature directorial debut of Robin Wright, netted $940,000 in its opening weekend from 1,231 theaters. It is expected to gross $1.1 million over the four-day holiday. The drama centers on a woman recovering from a near-death experience. It debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

STX’s “The Mauritanian,” a fact-based legal drama, took in an estimated $144,000 this weekend from 245 venues. It is expected to gross $170,000 for the four day holiday weekend. The film stars Tahar Rahim and Jodie Foster and tells the story of a man who is detained and imprisoned in Guantanamo without being charged with a crime by the U.S. Government for years.

And Bleecker Street’s “The World to Come,” a period drama about two women (Vanessa Kirby and Katherine Waterston) who become romantically involved while living in the mid-19th century American East Coast frontier, premiered to $42,552. It is expected to bring in an estimated $48,935 over the holiday.

There’s not a lot of hopeful signs for movie theaters who have endured nearly a year of lost business. Most of the big blockbusters that were slated to open during the first six months of the year — a group that includes “No Time to Die,” “Fast 9” and “Black Widow” — have moved their release or are expected to get delayed. Until the bulk of the country is vaccinated and cinemas can reopen in major cities can open up cinemas, there won’t be a theatrical revival.