Box Office: ‘Moana’ Swims Past ‘Fantastic Beasts’ to Win Black Friday

Seth Kelley
Variety

Moana” looks to be Thanksgiving weekend’s clear box office victor after earning $21.8 million at 3,875 locations on Friday. Its five-day estimate currently stands at just over $80 million.

The second weekend of “Fantastic Beasts,” from Warner Bros., picked up an additional $18.6 million on Friday at 4,144 locations, putting its estimates at about $65 million. When combined with its first weekend, the film should break $150 million at the domestic box office by the weekend’s end.

The two leaders are way out in front of the rest of the box office contenders. “Doctor Strange,” now in its fourth frame, earned an additional $5.5 million at 3,008 locations on Friday. The film, from Marvel and Disney, should have five-day earnings in the $14 million range, putting its total domestic cume above $200 million.

Although “Moana” is showing the strongest, of the other fresh faces at the box office, Paramount’s “Allied” is leading with a $4.9 million Friday at 3,160 locations. Led by Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, the film could makes as much as $18 million in its opening weekend. “Bad Santa 2,” released by Broad Green and Miramax, is eyeing an opening above $8 million after earning $2.3 million on Friday at 2,920 locations, and Fox’s “Rules Don’t Apply” looks largely left out in the cold. The film earned $600,000 at 2,382 locations and should finish the five-day frame with around $2 million.

“Arrival” remained in the top five on Friday during its third frame, picking up an additional $4.5 million at 2,442 locations. “Lion” and “Miss Sloane” both opened in limited release at four and three locations respectively.

“Moana” is the latest animated adventure from Walt Disney Animation Studios. It stars Auli’i Cravalho as the titular character and Dwayne Johnson as the demigod Maui and features music from “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. It is directed by John Musker and Ron Clements based on a script by Jared Bush. In 2013 on Black Friday, the studio’s “Frozen” scored its best single day with $26.8 million on its way to a record $93.6 million five-day Thanksgiving opening.

“Allied” is a World War II romantic thriller directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Steven Knight. Pitt and Cotillard star as two assassins who fall in love. “Bad Santa 2” sees Billy Bob Thornton return to the sequel directed by Mark Waters and written by Shauna Cross and Johnny Rosenthal. “Rules Don’t Apply” is a romantic comedy-drama film written, co-produced and directed by Warren Beatty, who makes his first appearance in a featured role in 15 years. Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich also star.

The National Association of Theater Owners announced on Friday that the U.S. box office had topped $10 billion for 2016 — a record for the point in the year at which the milestone has been crossed — led by “Finding Dory,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “The Secret Life of Pets.”

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