Box Office: Moana takes #1 with $81.1 mil for five-day Thanksgiving weekend

Box Office Week: Moana takes #1 with $81.1 mil for five-day Thanksgiving weekend, the 2nd best ever for that timeslot. Meanwhile Allied (#4, $18 mil) disappoints and Bad Santa 2 (#8, $9 mil) flops. Finally, Rules Don’t Apply has 6th worst opening weekend of all time, opening at #12 with $1.5 mil. 

Image result for Moana movie

Rank Title Domestic Gross (Weekend) Worldwide Gross (Cume) Week #
1 Moana $81,100,000 $97,408,000 1
2 Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them $65,760,000 $473,728,123 2
3 Doctor Strange $17,500,000 $615,993,475 4
4 Allied $18,000,000 $27,422,000 1
5 Arrival $15,600,000 $93,287,300 3

all grosses this week are for the five-day weekend

Notable Box Office Stories:

      • While the other new films this weekend failed to impress, the latest Disney animated film Moana delivered an excellent $55.5 million three-day opening and an even better $81.1 million five-day opening coming in at #1. This places it as the second best Thanksgiving premiere just behind fellow Disney animated film Frozen’s 2013 five day haul of $93.6 mil. In fact because Moana pushed out Back to the Future II from the all time Thanksgiving opening list, 9 of the 10 best openings for that weekend are now Disney films (with Four Christmases being the one non-Disney film on the list). However a good opening Thanksgiving doesn’t mean squat without good legs, and we only have to go down to the fifth best opening Thanksgiving weekend film, last year’s The Good Dinosaur. That film opened to an okay $55.4 mil for the five-day but dropped like a rock for the next few weeks ending up making only $123 mil domestic, a multiplier of only 2.25x it’s five day gross. Compare that to the number one spot, Frozen which had a multiplier of 4x it’s five day gross and ended up at $400.7 mil domestic. The good news for Moana is that reviews for the film have been excellent and it scored an A on Cinemascore, so it should stay well. There’s no direct competition for the film until Sing on December 21st so it has a lot of room to grow. Next week will be the biggest test, as it has no major competition in any field so if it drops even below 45% it’s three day haul I’d say it’s real bad news. Internationally the film has really only opened in China where it’s made an okay $12.3 mil. While reaction from Pacific Islanders has been very positive, they don’t represent a major box office force so the find could struggle demographically. For now Disney should be okay with their achievement but I don’t think it’s time to start breaking out the champaign just get…well they can for Doctor Strange but more on that in the comments.Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

        • Times continue to shift as a Robert Zemeckis film starring Brad Pitt and the biggest French actress of all time, Marion Cotillard, couldn’t even beat a film on its fourth week, as Allied opened to #4 at for $13 mil for the three-day weekend and $18 mil for the five. This marks yet another major disappointment for Zemeckis, who last year saw The Walk similarly be denied its supposedly destined box office success and Oscar wins. Similarly Allied arrived with middling reviews and no Oscar buzz, which might explain the poor showing. It also doesn’t help that Pitt has had a rough year with divorce, a child abuse investigation, and couldn’t even promote the film right when rumors abound he and Cotillard are an item. Zemeckis better hope Pitt finds time for international promotion as that is the film’s best bet, though even in Cotillard’s native France it opened to a middling $2.8 mil. Barring a massive surprise hit in another country, the film has no chance of passing its $85 mil budget, particularly with only a B on Cinemascore. Mark it up as another failure in the A-list director, A-list actor column that grows more and more each year.

Bad Santa 2

      • Oh Hollywood, when will you learn to stop making long delayed sequels to cult comedy successes? Maybe Bad Santa 2 coming in at #8 with a pitiful $6.1 mil for the three-day weekend and $9 mil for the five will finally tell you to stop, but I doubt you’ll listen. In comparison Bad Santa opened to $12 mil at the end of November then ran a wave of surprisingly good reviews to drop almost nothing during December and sticking around for 17 weeks. I highly doubt Bad Santa 2 will be so fortunate, as the reviews for the film were horrendous and the audiences seem to agree, giving the film a C+ on Cinemascore (the original earned a B). Right now it seems very unlikely the film will even come close to its medium sized $26 mil budget. Just please internet promise me that when the inevitable Mystery Men 2 trailer is released that you’ll have a little more cynicism in your heart.
      • Hey kids, do you know what time it is? That’s right, it’s time to add another film to the worst openings of all time list, as the Warren Beatty directed film Rules Don’t Apply flopped horribly, opening at #12 with $1.57 mil for the three-day weekend and $2.17 mil for the five. That means for the three-day weekend, the film had a per theater average of only $661, making it the 6th worst wide release opening of all time and passing Morgan (now 8th worst) as the worst wide release opening of 2016. Maybe a while ago the 15 year acting return of Warren Beatty and the 18 year director return of the same man starring the next Han Solo would mean something, but not in this day. It especially didn’t help that the potential Oscar candidate (based on Beatty alone) received mediocre reviews and a B- on Cinemascore (not that an A+ would matter either with such an awful premire). It seems clear that if the 15 year return of Warren Beatty couldn’t bring out the crowds then the appeal of what remains of the New Hollywood directors is truly over.
      • The Oscar rollout continues as Manchester by the Sea added 48 theaters for a weekend haul of $1.25 mil and a $26,048 per theater average. However the big PTA winner this week was Lion, the Dev Patel, Oscar nominee contender which opened in 4 theaters to $128,368, a per theater average of $32,092. Meanwhile Loving added 284 theaters which helped it earn $1.69 mil. Finally Nocturnal Animals added 89 theaters, earning it $816,000 for the weekend.

Films You  Want to Follow

This is a segment where we keep a weekly tally of currently showing films that aren’t in the Top 5 that fellow readers want updates on. If you’d like me to add a film to this chart, make a comment in this thread.

Title Domestic Gross (Cume) Worldwide Gross (Cume) Budget Week #
Finding Dory $486,308,073 $1,026,431,305 $200 mil 24
Kubo and the Two Strings $47,996,305 $69,468,168 $60 mil 15
Moonlight $8,624,896 $8,624,896 $5 mil 6

Notable Film Closings



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