Disney’s Moana is off to a strong start at the box office this holiday week. So strong, in fact, that its Tuesday preview night took in $2.6 million, doubling the previous Thanksgiving week record of Disney/Pixar’s 2015 film, The Good Dinosaur. A little movie by the name of Frozen held the record before that with its 2013 debut at $1.2 million. The biggest bow for an animated film’s Tuesday night preview, however, remains 2013’s Despicable Me, which kicked things off with $4.3 million before tallying $143 million in its opening weekend.
Moana is looking at a holiday weekend total of $80+ million, Box Office Mojo estimates. Other Wednesday debuts include Robert Zemeckis‘ World War II spy thriller Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard; Warren Beatty‘s Rules Don’t Apply; and Bad Santa 2, the R-rated black comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton. Those films brought in $600k, $65k, and $350k respectively in their preview night openings, reports THR.
It’s looking like a battle between Disney’s Moana and Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for the top spot this weekend. The new debut has the benefit of almost unanimously positive critical reviews with audience reactions to match. Audiences responded to the Harry Potter prequel more favorably than critics; the film tallied $74.4 million in its U.S. debut and took in $220 million worldwide last weekend. We’ll see if it has the legs to hold off the brightly colored animated adventure film that stars Dwayne Johnson and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho.
The holiday themed adult comedy Bad Santa 2 is aiming for a weekend tally in the $15 million range, offering up an alternative to the more family-friendly fare at theaters this week/end. Allied is tracking to earn around $20 million, but Paramount’s taking the conservative route with their estimates, eying the $15+ million mark. Beatty’s latest directorial effort Rules Don’t Apply likely won’t crack $10 million but looks to pull in $7-8 million over the five-day run. Be sure to return this Saturday and Sunday to see our full Friday and Weekend Box Office reports.