It was a weekend of big victories and even bigger disappointments at the box office this Thanksgiving, as Moana won over families in the US, while Brad Pitt's latest WWII epic failed to ignite. Superb results for Arrival and Fantastic Beasts countered a hideous start for Bad Santa 2 and Oscar contender Rules Don't Apply.
Let's break down the numbers.
Disney have been on the mother of all rolls this year and #Moana, the oceanic animated adventure voiced by social media king Dwayne Johnson, scored a similar opening to billion-dollar smash hit Frozen stateside. Over the five-day weekend, Moana made $81m (Elsa and friends took $94m in 2014). Strong reviews (81 on Metacritic) highlighting the film's incredible visuals and its lead actors' strong chemistry should help Moana ride the tide until Christmas.
2. 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them'
Arguably bigger news than Moana's strong opening is how well #FantasticBeasts held. In its second weekend, the J.K. Rowling-written spinoff made another $66m in the states, while remaining top of the UK box office (it will likely surpass Bridget Jones's Baby as the biggest film of the year there) and opening with an impressive $41m in China. Its global total now stands at $474m, pacing not far behind Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 in most countries. It wouldn't be a surprise if Fantastic Beasts ended up north of $750m, which could put it ahead of Marvel's Doctor Strange.
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3. 'Doctor Strange'
Marvel's future Sorcerer Supreme continues to do pretty well, taking $19m in third place at the US box office over Thanksgiving. Globally, it's at $616m so far, with China by far the second-biggest market at an incredible $110m and counting, plus $41m from Korea. The UK total is $27.5m, perhaps a little underwhelming considering Suicide Squad made $44m there. Globally, #DoctorStrange should total out at around $750m by the New Year.
#Arrival had a killer third weekend of $15.6m, suggesting a lot of people wanted to make first contact with a movie more intelligent than your standard blockbuster this Thanksgiving. The sci-fi movie with big views about the future of humanity and a stunning central performance from Amy Adams is now at $62.4m in the US, and $93m globally. Will it follow its box office triumph with an Oscar nomination?
5. 'Bad Santa 2'
Sequels to comedies which weren't exactly classics in the first place are always dicey territory, and #BadSanta2 became a major casualty this weekend, landing in 8th place in the US with just $9m across the five days. That's a dreadful result, but silver linings — at least we'll never get that threequel.
6. 'Rules Don't Apply'
Director Warren Beatty's passion project starring Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich, our young Han Solo, had been considered a contender for this year's awards season, but any hope of Oscar recognition will probably be dashed by an opening weekend which puts #RulesDontApply firmly in all-time biggest bomb territory. The comedy finished 12th with $2.1m. This film cost $25m to make, meaning somebody somewhere just hit cancel on their Christmas crate of Dom Pérignon.
Brad Pitt loves himself a good WWII movie, but unfortunately not everyone appears to think that #Allied is a good WWII movie. The romantic thriller co-starring Marion Cotillard opened with an underwhelming $18m in fourth place stateside. With a few major international starts such as France and the UK, its global total after week one is $27m. Verdict: Not dead on arrival, but fighting a losing battle in the trenches.
Which movie gave you most to be thankful for this weekend?