After seven weeks in release, the animated film The Croods was pulled from mainland Chinese theaters two weeks in advance of its expiration date after Chinese officials apparently became annoyed that the animated feature was massively outperforming Chinese-made animated competitors at the box office. Seven weeks into its run, The Croods – about a caveman’s family trek – was raking in $62 million, but three other Chinese-produced animated features [Happy Little Submarine 3, Rainbow Treasure and The Adventures of Sinbad 2013 and Kuiba 2] only brought in $17 million amongst them. That led the Chinese government to issue a directive to theater owners to pull The Croods early from their run to prevent further box-office embarrassment. The Croods becomes the latest of a lengthening list of films to fall victim to Chinese censors – including Cloud Atlas, Django Unchained, Skyfall and Red Dawn – while, additionally, China has imposed a limit on the number of foreign films which can be released in the country in a given year.
The Croods had originally been scheduled to end its run in China on June 24, 2013.