As 'Croods: A New Age' Opens in Theaters, Expect a New-Age Streaming Debut Next Month

Animated sequel opens in 2,200 theaters as pandemic forces multiple states to close cinemas and other businesses

While Universal/DreamWorks Animation's "The Croods: A New Age" opens Wednesday in theaters -- though in a lot less theaters than would have been possible even earlier this month -- you might well be able to watch the Stone Age-set sequel in the comfort of your home by mid-December.

That's because the film, a sequel to the 2013 family film that grossed $584 million worldwide, is the first test of a potential industry-changing experiment by Universal and major theater chains to shorten the usual 90-day window between a movie's theatrical and at-home release to as little as 17 days. In this case, that would mean a premium on-demand debut the week of Dec. 14.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster