Weekend Box Office: Post Thanksgiving Frame is Ho-Ho-Hum

The weekend after Thanksgiving is always a quiet time for multiplexes, and this year was no exception. Only two films managed to earn north of $10 million this weekend: Moana and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Otherwise, theaters across North America were about as busy as a grocery store on Black Friday.

Disney’s Moana smashed through the $100 million mark on Saturday, its eleventh day of release. For the weekend, the animated musical earned an estimated $28.4 million from 3,875 theaters. Off 50% from its debut, Moana has earned a melodic $120 million domestically with an additional $57.5 million from overseas.

Moana’s post-Thanksgiving hold was notable in the fact that it was stronger than the sophomore session decreases shown by Frozen (-53%), Tangled (-55%) and Toy Story 2 (-52%), all which went on to be huge hits. While the movie may cool down a bit over the next weekend or two due to holiday festivities and kids still being in school, it should rebound nicely over the final two weeks of the year and well into 2017. This should help Moana sail past the $280-300 million mark by the end of its run, possibly more.

Warner’s Fantastic Beasts lost 60% of its holiday crowds but still managed to find $18.5 million from 3,988 theaters in its third round to remain in second place. The domestic total for the Harry Potter spinoff currently stands at $183.5 million. The film should cross the $200 million mark by the middle of next weekend. A final haul around $225-230 million is possible for the franchise starter. Overseas, the David Yates feature has conjured up a huge $424 million so far.

Two films from Paramount occupied spots three and four. The studio’s acclaimed sci-fi drama Arrival landed in third with $7.3 million from 2,915 screens. Off only 36% -the lowest drop of any film in the top ten-, the film has earned a solid $73 million so far. Should Arrival snag some notable year-end awards love, the Denis Villeneuve feature could see its final total land between $90-100 million.

The news wasn’t as good for the studio’s pricey World War II epic Allied, which spied an estimated $7 million from 3,160 theaters. Off a modest 44%, Allied’s domestic total after two weeks is a meek $29 million. A final domestic haul for the Brad Pitt feature is looking to be around the $50 million mark, far below the $85 million spent to make the Robert Zemeckis film. The film has made $24 million overseas so far.

Rounding out the top five this weekend was another Mouse House blockbuster, Doctor Strange. The hit fantasy earned an estimated $6.5 million from 2,935 theaters this weekend, its fifth overall. Down 55%, the Benedict Cumberbatch feature has earned a great $215 million so far and is heading toward a final domestic haul around $230 million. Foreign totals for Herr Doctor currently stand at $420 million.

There was one new release this weekend, a low-budget thriller called Incarnate. The High Top Releasing feature opened on 1,737 screens Friday where it went on earn a disastrous $2.7 million, good for only ninth place. Reviews were dismal for the Aaron Eckhart headliner, which reportedly cost $5 million to produce.

The news was better for Fox/Searchlight’s Oscar hopeful Jackie, which stormed five theaters in New York and Los Angeles to earn a big $275,000 in its first three days. The Natalie Portman drama -which scored a strong 86% approval on Rotten Tomatoes-, expands to several more cities on Friday and will continue to roll out across the country throughout December in its quest for award glory.

  1. Trolls (Fox) $4.6 million (-57%); $141 million
  1. Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate) $3.4 million (-38%); $57.2 million
  1. Bad Santa 2 (BG) $3.3 million (-47%); $14.3 million
  1. Incarnate (HTR) $2.7 million
  1. Almost Christmas (Universal) $2.5 million (-56%); $38 million

On Friday, the R-rated comedy Office Christmas Party arrives in an attempt to knock Moana down to second place. The Jessica Chastain political drama Miss Sloane expands in national release after two weeks of a limited run while the acclaimed musical La La Land starts its initial run in just five theaters.

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