Box office hits and misses: ‘Moana’ still on top, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ passes $600M

box office moana fantastic beasts
Disney’s Moana continued its reign atop the domestic box office with yet another big weekend, but it was a weekend of milestones for many of the weekend’s movies as we edge ever closer to the end of the year.

Already the beneficiary of the second biggest opening weekend of all time for a feature produced by Disney Animation Studios (behind this year’s Zootopia), Moana added another $28.3 million from U.S. theaters and brought its domestic earnings to a respectable $119.8 million and its worldwide gross to $177.3 million. The film’s week-to-week earnings are right in line with some of the biggest Disney animated movies of recent years, and those ticket sales are complemented by wildly positive reviews from professional critics and general audiences alike.

Basically, it’s looking like Moana is primed for a good run in theaters.

While the continued success of Moana is notable, this weekend also pushed Harry Potter prequel film — and intended franchise-starter — Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them past the $600 million mark globally. Only three weeks into its run, Fantastic Beasts is likely to start moving past the lifetime grosses of some of the original Harry Potter films over the next few weeks, which bodes well for the new series’ future.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Moana $28.3M $119.8M $177.3M
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them $18.5M $183.5M $607.9M
3. Arrival $7.3M $73M $105.2M
4. Allied $7M $28.9M $53.7M
5. Doctor Strange $6.4M $215.3M $634.9M
6. Trolls $4.6M $141.3M $296.6M
7. Hacksaw Ridge $3.4M $57.2M $75.3M
8. Bad Santa 2 $3.2M $14.2M $14.2M
9. Incarnate $2.6M $2.6M $2.6M
10. Almost Christmas $2.5M $38.1M $38.2M

The closest competition over the weekend was between critically acclaimed alien-encounter drama Arrival and war thriller Allied, which switched places this week but were separated by less than a quarter of a million dollars. While Allied has struggled to find an audience despite the presence of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, Arrival appears to not only be going strong but actually gaining some momentum due to an abundance of positive buzz.

Also noteworthy was the continued success of Doctor Strange, which has now earned enough to sit in ninth place among the 14 Marvel movies domestically and eighth place among the films worldwide. The movie will likely move past Captain America: The Winter Soldier next on the domestic chart, and Thor: The Dark World worldwide.

This upcoming weekend features the premiere of an early Oscar darling in La La Land, director Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to 2014’s Oscar-nominated musical drama Whiplash; as well as the raunchy holiday comedy Office Christmas Party. The supernatural action film Spectral also premieres on Netflix this weekend, adding yet another new release to the mix.

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