Box Office: Disney’s ‘Moana’ Scores $81 Million Opening, ‘Bad Santa 2’ Flops

Moana cast, Moana stars, Dwayne Johnson Moana, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Auli'i Cravalho

Songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda and Moana actors Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson. (Getty)

For some Americans, it looks like only Disney movies will get them to theaters. This Thanksgiving, Disney unleashed Moana, the second film from the Walt Disney Animation Studios this year and it earned the second-highest grossing Thanksgiving weekend ever with $81.1 million since November 22. Meanwhile, Allied, Bad Santa 2 and Rules Don’t Apply were all disappointments, considering the pedigree attached to them.

Based on Comscore numbers, Moana took in $81.1 million since screenings started on Tuesday night. From Friday to Sunday, the film took in $55.5 million. This is the second-best Thanksgiving weekend opening ever, following Frozen‘s $93.6 million five-day total. Moana earned an A CinemaScore from audiences, so expect this one to have legs, possibly into the New Year.

Robert Zemeckis’ Allied, which stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, wasn’t quite the hit Paramount needed. The film made just $18 million over five days, and $13 million over the weekend. That film cost $85 million to make and continues Zemeckis’ streak of disappointments. Last year’s The Walk made just $61.1 million worldwide in its entire run and only $10.1 million in North America.

The other wide release of the weekend was Bad Santa 2 from Broad Green Pictures. Coming 13 years after the unexpected sleeper hit that was the original, the Billy Bob Thornton-starring movie mustered just $9 million over five days and $6.1 million over the weekend.

Two films that finished outside the top 10 are worth keeping an eye on, albeit for very different reasons. Jeff Nichols’ acclaimed Loving, which is expected to be in play at the Oscars, grossed $1.7 million over the weekend, despite running in just 421 locations. It’s made $4.1 million in its run so far.

On the other end of the spectrum, Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply has been a major disappointment. It played at over 2,300 theaters this weekend, but only earned $1.6 million. The film, which was met with negative reviews, has made just $2.2 million.

Box Office Top 10 (Numbers from Comscore)

 Title (Studio) Weekend Total (Nov. 25-27) Lifetime Gross
1  Moana (Disney) $55.5 million $81.1 million
2 Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (Warner Bros.) $45.1 million $156.2 million
3 Doctor Strange (Disney) $13.4 million $205.1 million
4 Allied (Paramount) $13 million $18 million
5 Arrival (Paramount) $11.2 million $62.4 million
6 Trolls (20th Century Fox) $10.3 million $135.1 million
7 Bad Santa 2 (Broad Green Pictures) $6.1 million $9 million
8 Almost Christmas (Universal) $5.7 million $34.8 million
9 Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate) $5.4 million $52.2 million
10 The Edge of Seventeen (STX Entertainment) $2.9 million $10.3 million

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