‘Moana’ To Keep Dancing During December’s Doldrums – Box Office Preview

Anthony D'Alessandro
Deadline

It’s going to be quiet for a couple of weekends before Disney/Lucasfilm’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens and gets moviegoers excited again, and while the post Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend frame is certainly one of the lowest in a given year, overall we should see stronger ticket sales than previous years for this frame due to the solid holdover action of Disney’s Moana and Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Moana after collecting a FSS of $56.6M and five-day of $82.1M should ease approximately 50% for $28.3M, while Fantastic Beasts will decline 60% for a third FSS of $18M in second. Through Tuesday, Moana counts $87.6M, while Fantastic Beasts tallies $161.1M.

Typically moviegoers during the first weekend of December are occupied with holiday activities from shopping to parties. A huge film like Rogue One on the schedule also slows traffic: If they’re going to spend $15-$20 for a movie ticket, they’ll save their money for the big film (or they spent it already on Rogue One advance tickets…)

Also contributing to the sluggish three-day period: It’s the second weekend this year after the post-Easter frame of April 1-3 where there aren’t any major studio wide entries.

incarnate
incarnate

BH/Tilt’s microbudget genre label has Incarnate from San Andreas director Brad Peyton and it’s looking at a weekend in the low to mid single digits at approximately 1,700 venues. BH/Tilt zeroes in on appealing to fervent horror fans with a relegated digital ad spend, and low overhead. Universal finances the P&A, while High Top books the theaters and BH/Tilt oversees marketing. Incarnate cost around $5M. Incarnate follows a scientist (Aaron Eckhart) who has the ability to enter the minds of the possessed. He’s tasked with saving a boy who is battling a demon, and in doing so, must face his past. Back in May, BH/Tilt had The Darkness starring Kevin Bacon and Matt Walsh. It debuted to close to $5M in its opening weekend and finaled at $10.8M; great numbers for the type of pics that BH/Tilt is handling.

Freestyle Releasing has Believe in 600 locations. The faith-based title from director Billy Dickson follows a small-town business owner who tries to save the local Christmas pageant against all odds.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

Paramount’s Brad Pitt-Marion Cotillard World War II epic Allied will also reside toward the upper echelon of the chart with a 55% decline, for $5.7M. Through yesterday, the Robert Zemeckis-directed movie has collected $20.1M.

Natalie Portman - Jackie.jpeg
Natalie Portman - Jackie.jpeg

The specialty sector, which Brian Brooks will detail later this week, should show some breathing room. It was during this time that Natalie Portman’s 2010 Oscar Contender Black Swan launched to $1.4M at 18 theaters. The actress has another shot at Oscar glory this weekend as Pablo Larrain’s Jackie debuts in five locations in New York and Los Angeles. Coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival, where Fox Searchlight acquired the movie, Portman received rave reviews for her turn as widowed First Lady Jackie Kennedy. Jackie will play at the Arclight Hollywood and the Landmark West L.A., while in New York, she’ll be gracing the AMC Lincoln Square,  Cinema 1-3, and the Landmark Sunshine. Searchlight has a slow platform over the next four weeks with the movie expanding to 40-45 markets/200 theaters by Christmas. Jackie currently owns the best screenplay and Golden Osella award out of Venice for Noah Oppenheim’s script, TIFF’s Platform Prize for Larrain and four Independent Spirit noms for Portman (actress), feature, director and editing. Jackie is hoping to hook $30K-$35K per screen.

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