Box office hits and misses: Disney’s ‘Moana’ sails to huge, five-day holiday weekend

box office moana fantastic beasts
Theater audiences feasted on Disney’s latest animated feature over the Thanksgiving weekend, propelling the critically praised Moana to the second biggest five-day opening for any film released during the November holiday.

The film, which casts Dwayne Johnson as a Polynesian demigod assisting a young girl on a quest to save her people, raked in $81.1 million across the five-day span encompassing the Thanksgiving holiday and the subsequent weekend. This put the film under the record-setting $93.6 million that Disney’s Frozen earned over the same five-day span in 2013, and ahead of the $80.1 million opening for Toy Story 2 over the Thanksgiving holiday in 1999.

The success of Moana over the Thanksgiving holiday continued a trend set by Disney over the years, with nine of the top ten highest-grossing films over the five-day span — and the three-day span following the holiday — all hailing from the studio. It wasn’t all sunshine and surf for the weekend’s new releases, though.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Moana $81.1M $81.1M $97.4M
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them $65.7M $156.2M $473.7M
3. Doctor Strange $18.8M $205M $615.9M
4. Allied $18M $18M $27.4M
5. Arrival $15.6M $62.3M $93.2M
6. Trolls $14.2M $135.1M $291M
7. Almost Christmas $9.5M $36.6M $36.7M
8. Bad Santa 2 $9M $9M $9M
9. Hacksaw Ridge $7.7M $52.2M $52.2M
10. The Edge of Seventeen $4.2M $10.2M $10.2M

Neither Brad Pitt’s war drama Allied nor Billy Bob Thornton’s raunchy sequel Bad Santa 2 managed to make good on their premieres, with the former failing to cross $20 million domestically and the latter failing to surpass $10 million. Both movies opened well below their respective studios’ hopes, with Allied in particular under-shooting its $85 million budget.

As for the rest of the weekend’s top ten films, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them dropped to second place with a respectable $65.7 million in U.S. theaters and a worldwide gross that now sits at approximately $473.7 million — good for 13th place among the year’s highest-grossing films in only its second week in theaters. The five-day weekend’s third-place film, Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, added another $18.8 million to its domestic total and moved past the entire domestic grosses of fellow Marvel movies Thor, Ant-Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Incredible Hulk.

Also enjoying a positive week-to-week evolution was acclaimed alien-encounter film Arrival, which matched its overwhelmingly positive reviews with a $15.6 million third weekend in theaters — a drop of only 7.3 percent from the prior weekend and a great indication that the well-received film will have a long, productive run.

The upcoming weekend is a relatively light one for new releases, with Natalie Portman’s biopic Jackie — in which she plays former First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy — and Shia LaBeouf’s war drama Man Down debuting as the most high-profile new films. Expect to see many of this week’s biggest films continue to top the box-office chart.

Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Business

Captain Marvel continues to soar at the box office with huge second weekend

Captain Marvel blasted into theaters in a big way a week ago, and Marvel's first female-led solo superhero movie is showing no signs of slowing down after a big second week in theaters.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 trailer goes full ’80s with a monstrous finale

The first trailer for Stranger Things season 3 has been released by Netflix, and it offers a peek at what the kids -- and adults -- of Hawkins, Indiana, have been up to since the otherworldly events of the second season.
Movies & TV

Tarantino goes back to 1969 with first Once Upon a Time in Hollywood trailer

Sony Pictures has released the first trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the ninth film from Oscar-winning writer and director Quentin Tarantino, which stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Home Theater

ESPN Plus scores the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events

If MMA is your game, then ESPN Plus is now a very important player. The Disney-owned service locked up the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events, a deal that will last through 2025 in the United States.
Home Theater

Dish TV customers can access up to 13 NCAA March Madness games in 4K

If you're a basketball fan looking to get your fix of NCAA Championship action in 4K, Dish TV will be airing up to 13 of the tournament games in the ultra high-def format, starting on Tuesday.
Home Theater

Cheer for your favorite NCAA team and Xfinity will respond with matching lights

Screaming at your favorite team just became a lot more rewarding thanks to Comcast's Xfinity voice remote and some special NCAA commands that set your smart lightbulbs to your favorite team's colors.
Movies & TV

Bill and Ted 3 finally faces the music once summer 2020 arrives

Wyld Stallyns Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves travel to the famed Hollywood Bowl to make a big announcement: Bill and Ted 3: Face the Music will begin filming very soon and it has a release date locked in.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Movies & TV

MoviePass returns to unlimited movies plan, but with plenty of restrictions

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.
Movies & TV

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Everything we know so far

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, uses the infamous 1969 Manson Family murders as a backdrop to tell a story set in bohemian Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far.