Holiday Box Office: ‘Moana’ Eyes ‘Frozen’-Sized Debut After Thanksgiving Win

     November 26, 2016


Disney is looking for a box office bonanza repeat with its latest animated feature Moana. The Pacific Islander-centric film got off to a massive start just before Thanksgiving, bringing in $25.58 million over Wednesday and Thursday. It grossed $15.6 million alone on Wednesday, breaking the previous record of $15.1 million set by Disney’s global phenomenon Frozen just a few years ago, leading many to wonder if Moana might be a similar kind of hit. The numbers cooled off a bit in recent days, but the pic scored another $21.8 million on Friday that should put it on track for a five-day told of around (or above) $80 million. That’s a stellar Thanksgiving opening if a touch short of the $93.5 million that Frozen brought in over the same time period in 2013.

But Moana wasn’t the only winner over the holiday. In its second frame, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them brought in $18.6 million on Friday alone, putting its weekend estimates around $65 million. That’s a very strong hold following the film’s $74 million debut, and as with most of the Harry Potter films, repeat business appears to be the name of the game.


Image via Disney

Beyond Moana and Fantastic Beasts, Friday numbers are quite a bit lower—it looks like families have made the Disney feature and Warner Bros.’ franchise-starter the priorities of the holiday. Marvel’s Doctor Strange, in its fourth go-around, earned $5.5 million on Friday and should end the five-day frame with around $14 million, which would be enough to push the domestic total above $200 million. That would top the $180 million domestic gross of Ant-Man, the $181 million domestic total of Thor, and the $176.6 million that Captain America: The First Avenger nabbed to make it Marvel Studios’ third-best new hero debut domestically behind Iron Man’s $318.4 and Guardians of the Galaxy’s $333.1 million.

In terms of new releases, the throwback World War II thriller Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, nabbed $4.9 million on Friday and is expected to earn around $12 million for the weekend, while Bad Santa 2 is eyeing a paltry $6 million weekend and Warren Beatty’s comeback Rules Don’t Apply appears to be quiet with around just $2 million for the five-day frame.

Check out the Friday Top 5 below and check back tomorrow for full weekend results.


Rank Title Friday Total
1. Moana $21,826,000 $47,411,000
2. Fantastic Beasts $18,550,000 $129,678,123
3. Doctor Strange $5,435,000 $197,159,475
4. Allied $4,940,000 $9,962,000
5. Arrival $4,515,000 $55,652,300

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