Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Moana’ Rules the Box Office on a Mixed Holiday Weekend
The box office success of Moana feels like destiny: an old school Disney formula plus 21st century polish plus great songs plus the mere presence of Dwayne Johnson and near-universal critical notices is a surefire recipe for success. How do you bet against that? While Disney Animation led the five-day Thanksgiving holiday, other films used this window to also rise to the occasion...while a handful of new releases completely stalled.
|2||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them||$45,100,000 (-39.4)||$10,883||$156,228,000|
|3||Doctor Strange||$13,000,000 (-24.7)||$4,444||$205,093,000|
|7||Almost Christmas||$7,610,000 (+4.9)||$4,302||$36,688,000|
|8||Bad Santa 2||$6,106,000||$2,091||$9,031,000|
|9||Hacksaw Ridge||$5,450,000 (-18.3)||$2,337||$52,248,000|
|10||The Edge of Seventeen||$1,575,000||$1,522||$10,273,000|
Moana opened to $81 million over the five-day holiday weekend, earning more than the early estimates and continuing to suggest that Disney Animation has officially entered another renaissance. Unless things go very poorly in the weeks ahead — and that’s unlikely — it will probably do Zootopia business in the long run. It may even do Frozen business, especially if kids become as addicted to the soundtrack as many writers and critics have predicted. In any case, keep your eye on this one. $1 billion feels like a very serous possibility, especially since it’ll still be playing when the winter holidays roll around.
Second place belonged to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which displayed some pretty healthy endurance in its second weekend; this suggests that many Harry Potter-loving families were waiting until the holiday week to check out J.K. Rowling’s latest wizarding adventure. With $66 million over the five day holiday, the film now stands at $156 million. It won’t reach the same heights as the most financially successful Harry Potter movies, but it will do more than enough to make that five-movie commitment by Warner Bros. look like a smart idea.
Other movies in the top 10 also showcased strong legs, with Doctor Strange crossing the $200 million mark and becoming the first debut solo Marvel superhero movie since Iron Man to do so (despite the qualifiers, that’s fairly impressive). Arrival also continued to do surprising business, dropping a minuscule 7% to bring its total to $62 million. And while Trolls hit its first real speed bump this week, it stands at $135 million and managed to still do business in the face of Moana, which is no easy task. Even Almost Christmas flexed its muscles, rising nearly 5% over last weekend’s gross and bringing its total to $36 million.
But all was not well in the top 10. Bad Santa 2, arriving a few years too late and not benefiting from scathing reviews, opened with a poor $9 million, significantly lower than early estimates. The 2003 original was a sleeper hit at the domestic box office, opening to modest numbers before grossing $60 million. It’s unlikely that the sequel, which won’t have similar word of mouth, will follow suit.
Allied fared only a little better, earning $18 million over five days, which is not a strong start for a fairly expensive World War II tale starring famous faces like Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. The silver lining for director Robert Zemeckis is that this one won’t be nearly as disastrous as last year’s The Walk, which topped out at $10 million domestically.
The real bomb of the week is Rules Don’t Apply, Hollywood legend Warren Beatty’s long-awaited return to the big screen as an actor and director following a 15-year absence. Blame the tepid reviews or the lackluster marketing or the fact that Beatty simply isn’t a draw for modern audiences – all that matters in the end is that that film opened to an abysmal $2 million, one of the worst-ever openings for a wide release film.