Box Office: ‘Moana’ Wins Again While ‘La La Land’ Sets Records

La La Land soundtrack

(DECEMBER 9 – DECEMBER 11, 2016 estimates)

  1. Moana(Week 3) – $18,842,000
  2. “Office Christmas Party” (Opening) – $17,500,000
  3. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (Week 4) – $10,785,000
  4. Arrival(Week 5) – $5,600,000
  5. Doctor Strange(Week 6) – $4,631,000
  6. “Allied” (Week 3) – $4,000,000
  7. Nocturnal Animals (Week 4) – $3,193,685
  8. Manchester by the Sea (Week 4) – $3,155,330
  9. Trolls(Week 6) – $3,110,000
  10. Hacksaw Ridge(Week 6) – $2,300,000

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  • For the third weekend in a row, “Moana” ruled the box office. The Disney animated film lost only a third of its business, which allowed it to retain its top spot. The film raised its domestic total to $145 million and worldwide total to $238 million. This is ahead of both “Tangled” and “Toy Story 2” at similar points, but behind “Frozen.” This puts the film on track to pass the $200 million mark domestically, with $250 million being a distant possibility.
  • The lone new wide release this weekend, “Office Christmas Party,” had a solid opening weekend with $17.5 million. When overseas receipts factored in, the film’s worldwide total rises to $33 million. Starting early allowed the film to have a solid start before the marketplace gets crowded with many other movies, chief among them “Rogue One.” Nonetheless, films that open in December have strong multipliers. Thus, the film should be able to make up its $45 million budget domestically.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” continued to rack up the box office. This weekend pushed the film’s total to $199 million domestically. It’s roughly a day away from passing the $200 million domestic mark. The film lost 40 percent of its business this week. At this pace, it should be able to remain in theaters throughout the holiday to take advantage of the Christmas bump in box office. That could push the film to get closer to $250 million domestically. Overseas, the story is even sunnier for the film. Its worldwide total stands at a staggering $680 million. At this rate, passing $750 million is guaranteed, although it will be a bit of a long shot to join the billion dollar club.
  • Oscar hopeful “Arrival” proves to be the film that just won’t go away this season. The film saw the smallest week-over-week decline in the top 10 yet again. With just a 22 percent dip, the film was able to bring its total to $81 million domestically and $129 million worldwide. After five weeks in release, the film still hasn’t dropped out of the top five. As more award nominations are announced this week, the film should continue to perform throughout awards season. That should help propel the movie past the $100 million mark domestically.
  • Marvel’s “Doctor Strange continued to perform well in its sixth weekend of release. The superhero flick fell 30 percent this past week. This helped bring the film’s domestic total to $222 million and worldwide total to a fantastic $645 million. This pushed the film past “Thor: The Dark World” to be the seventh highest grossing MCU film worldwide. After six weeks, the film has started to slow down a bit, but can possibly cross $700 million.
  • Robert Zemeckis’ “Allied” continued to struggle to find its audience. The film dropped 43 percent, the steepest decline of the top 10. The film’s total gross stands at a disappointing $35 million, far behind the $85 million production budget. Even foreign grosses aren’t helping push the film in the red. To date, the film has made $69 million worldwide.
  • After three weekends in limited release, Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals” expanded to wide release, but didn’t exactly set the world on fire. The film grossed $3.1 million from 1,262 theaters. This pushed its domestic total to $6 million. The per-theater average of $2,531 is  disappointing, and doesn’t bode well for the film’s longevity. Especially with more high profile Oscar films expanding over the next few weeks, expect this to vanish soon. The Globes nominations may give it a bit of a boost, however.
  • Expanding to nearly one fourth of the theaters as “Nocturnal Animals,” “Manchester by the Sea” was able to match its performance. Kenneth Lonergan’s drama mustered $3.1 million from only 366 theaters. That’s strong enough for a per-theater average of $8,621. After a strong showing at the Golden Globes, the film still has significant room to expand and perform well. Who knows, it could be the big indie breakout of the year. To date the film has amassed $8 million over four weeks in limited release.
  • The animated film “Trolls continued to hang in the top 10 for another week. The film saw a small 33 percent decline in its sixth weekend. This brings its domestic total box office to $145 million. Even more exciting is the fact that it crossed the $300 million threshold worldwide. It will be hard for the film to last all the way through the holidays, but it has shown a fantastic performance so far.
  • Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” filled out the rest of the top 10. The war drama lost only 31 percent of its business in its sixth week in theaters. The domestic total for the film currently stands at $60 million, while worldwide it has grossed $83 million. With the strong showing at the Golden Globes, the film should hang on throughout awards season and possibly threaten the $75 million gross of “Braveheart.”

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  • Jessica Chastain’s political drama “Miss Sloane” also expanded to wide release this weekend. Unfortunately, it was only able to bring in $1.9 million from 1,648 theaters. That put the film at number 11 on the charts. With so many Oscar hopeful movies expanding this week and in the coming weeks, “Miss Sloane” seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle.
  • The big story of the weekend belongs to “La La Land,” which set the record for per-theater averages this year. In just five theaters, the musical managed to gross $855,000. That comes out to a $171,000 per theater average. This is the tenth strongest per-theater average of all time as well. However, when one factors out Disney movies, it is only behind “Red State” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The film is perfectly positioned to be a box office juggernaut over the Christmas holiday.

What did you see this weekend? Let us know what you saw in the comments.