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During these uncertain times, let's all applaud 'The Croods 2' and its refusal to move

The Croods family portrait.
The Croods family portrait. (Image credit: Dreamworks Animation)

Through 2020, we have watched countless films - and even television shows - shift their release dates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who haven't shifted have dutifully moved what films they can to the video on demand model, giving consumers the opportunity to check out new media while (hopefully) remaining home as much as possible. 

But not Dreamworks Animation's The Croods: A New Age.

The animated feature, which showcases voice acting from the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicholas Cage and more, has stalwartly remained on its 2020 theatrical release date and is showing no signs of moving. As a matter of fact, the film moved its release up a month back in September, shifting off its initially planned Christmas release. 

It's important to bear in mind here that not only have the majority of all other major players moved after Tenet's failure to rescue theaters as Christopher Nolan had hoped it would, but that the (for all intents and purposes) box office flop actually had the opposite effect on theatrical exhibition. Going into November, many North American theaters have shuddered, with franchises like AMC desperately holding on to some fake semblance of hope that the pandemic will simply disappear. 

In the case of the ever-complicated New Mutants, Disney had a contractual obligation to release the film into theaters after their purchase of 21st Century Fox. No such deal exists for Dreamworks' The Croods 2. So what exactly is keeping the film on the theatrical calendar?

The budget - a cool $65mil - is down significantly from the first film's $135mil. That said, the first film grossed $582mil theatrically. It makes sense to want to try and crack into that half million again, but a theatrical release stands to lose a lot more than a digital one in our current state.