DreamWorks Animation has announced that the The Croods 2, the sequel to their 2013's animated prehistoric family comedy, is back on the development track and is aiming for a release in the Fall of 2020.
Consistent in their inconsistency since their debut in 1998, there appears to be three tiers of quality that the 35 films in the collection of DreamWorks Animation settle into. There's the upper echelon of their filmography, legitimately great films like the first two Shrek films, the How To Train You Dragon series, and the Kung Fu Panda trilogy. There's the distinct low-points, the critical duds like Shark Tale and Shrek the Third. Then there's the widely populated middle layer, the 10 to 15 films ranging from good not great to merely forgettable. 2013's The Croods exists in that layer, a serviceable animated comedy that featured a strong voice cast and some nice visuals but is not regarded among the top of the DreamWorks class.
Unlike most of those middle layer films, however, The Croods is remember fondly enough and has had enough of a legacy that a sequel has been in talks pretty much since opening weekend of the original. Other projects have taken precedent since then, with the sequel getting pushed back and eventually scrapped by the studio after they were acquired by Universal Pictures last year. Plans are back on to make the prehistoric sequel, however, as Deadline reports that DreamWorks has resumed production on The Croods 2 and has tentatively dated the film for September 18th, 2020.
While The Croods found itself overshadowed in 2013 by bigger animated hits like Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, and especially Frozen, it still made a decent chunk of change, opening to $43 million in the United States and finishing with $187 million domestically. That puts it right on the edge of the Top 10 of DreamWorks releases in the United States, and is the second highest grossing release that isn't currently part of one of their franchises (trailing on 2009's Monsters vs. Aliens). Worldwide, the film took in roughly half a billion dollars as well, and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 86th Academy Awards, losing to Frozen. The staying power of the property has also survived quietly on Netflix, with a animated TV show titled Dawn of the Croods on its fourth season.
Stars Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, and Nicholas Cage were previously under contract to return for a Croods sequel, though given the layoff and delays in schedule it remains to be seen if that is still the case. It'll also remain to be seen if the long layoff in between films will severely affect the box office performance of the film, though usually animated movies are somewhat immune to this kind of lack of timeliness. The Croods 2 joins a long list of DreamWorks sequels in development, including How To Train Your Dragon 3, The Boss Baby 2, and Trolls 2 - as like fellow animated house Pixar, DreamWorks appears to be embracing their franchise building.