While nobody was paying much attention ...
... The Croods is basically out of most US theaters, but while its $180 million domestic take is quite impressive, Dreamworks’ 10th biggest such haul and the sixth-largest for a non-sequel, its overseas performance is undoubtedly powered by 20th Century Fox ‘s infamous overseas muscle. ... The film’s foreign take is $388 million, the ninth-biggest such haul and the second-largest such gross for a non-sequel at DWA, behind the $416 million overseas gross of Kung Fu Panda.
The worldwide total, $569 million (and counting?) is also the second-biggest total for a non-sequel, behind the $631 million gross of Kung Fu Panda. It’s also currently the second-biggest global hit of 2013. ...
You want to know why all of our fine, entertainment conglomerates want to be in the animated feature biz? Half a billion dollars (and up) is the reason.
The Croods got good but not ecstatic reviews, and it's cleaned up at the box office. If you compare a sampling of DWA features, it's instantly apparent that the prehistoric family is right up there (and above) recent releases. It's outperformed Chris Sanders other DreamWorks hit, How to Train Your Dragon, which was also a corporate money spinner.
The outperformance of many (though not all) DreamWorks Animation movies is one of the reasons there is still a lot of CG animation work in California. When large companies hit on a winning formula for making lots of money, they are reluctant to change it. There's been a sizable talent pool in the Golden State that knows how to make long-form cartoons, and that pool's batting average (DreamWorks, Disney, Pixar) has been higher than other places.
Entertainment companies being what they are, more often than not they go with the teams that have the best stats. (So far, anyway.)
Add On: But even a successful feature doesn't always have smooth sailing.
... Chinese theater owners were ordered by regulators to end [The Croods'] theatrical run two weeks earlier than anticipated.
The move was widely interpreted as a way to make room for local animation films, underscoring how even the Hollywood studios that are most successful in China can be subject to the unpredictable decisions of government authorities eager to expand their own film industry.
"The Croods" has generated nearly $65 million in ticket sales since its release on April 20 -- making it the top grossing original animated movie in China and even surpassing "Kung Fu Panda," which was also a hit in China, the world's second-largest film market. ...