Leftovers 'Moana,' 'Fantastic Beasts' rule box office again
Audiences came back for a second helping of Moana and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this weekend. Both family-friendly films topped the post-Thanksgiving box office charts, with Moana bringing in US$28.4 million and Fantastic Beasts earning US$18.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Disney's animated Moana, in only its second weekend in theaters and second weekend at No. 1, has grossed US$119.9 million, while Warner Bros' Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts has earned US$183.5 million in three weeks.
Paramount's sci-fi mindbender Arrival took third with US$7.3 million, while the company's World War II spy thriller Allied placed fourth with US$7.1 million. Disney and Marvel's Doctor Strange rounded out the top five with US$6.5 million, bringing its domestic total to US$215.3 million.
The weekend's only new opener, the micro-budget horror film Incarnate, fell short of modest expectations and took in only US$2.6 million. The film, which stars Carice van Houten and Aaron Eckhart, was expected to earn in the US$4 million range.
"We are disappointed that we fell short of our goal and repeating the success of our previous releases," BH Tilt executive John Hegeman said. "The low-cost nature of the BH Tilt films and release model enables us to experiment and take risks, and we look forward to seeing what we can learn from this weekend for our future BH Tilt slate releases in 2017."
In limited release, the Jacqueline Kennedy biopic Jackie, starring Natalie Portman in one of the year's buzziest performances, earned US$275,000 from five theatres. Another awards contender, Manchester by the Sea expanded to 156 theaters and brought in US$2.4 million.
Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore, said that this post-Thanksgiving weekend is usually pretty slow.
"The Thanksgiving holiday is a long, extended binge of eating food and watching lots of movies, and then this weekend is the diet. It is somewhat typical," Dergarabedian said. "It's like we're taking a quick breather before the homestretch."
The weekend overall is expected to be down about three per cent from last year, which saw the Christmas-themed horror film Krampus rake in US$16.3 million. But the box office for the year remains up around four per cent.
The question now is whether the 2016 box office will surpass last year's record US$11.135 billion. While there are still some big films on the horizon, including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the animated Sing, it remains to be seen whether they will compete with the late-game 2015 juggernaut of The Force Awakens, which earned US$652 million in the last 14 days of the year.
"It's going to be a tight race," Dergarabedian said.