Moana tops box office, bringing in $15.7 million on Thanksgiving eve

LOS ANGELES — Disney’s “Moana” topped the Thanksgiving eve box office, picking up $15.7 million in its first full day of release, and leaving the competition in its wake.

The animated adventure is tracking closely to “Frozen,” which picked up $15.2 million over the same holiday period in 2013, ultimately making $93.4 million over the five day festivities. “Moana,” which follows a girl in the Pacific islands who embarks on an oceanic journey to save her people, is on pace to debut to more than $80 million over the five-day Thanksgiving corridor. Disney didn’t release a budget for “Moana,” but most animated films from the studio run between $150 million to $200 million.

Disney is on a hot streak at the box office. The company has fielded a number of hits this year — a collection of blockbusters that includes “The Jungle Book,” “Zootopia,” and “Finding Dory.” It still has “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” left to open next month. The space opera spin-off is expected to debut to more than $130 million when it hits theaters.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a spin-off of the Harry Potter films, continues to do well as schools let out. The Warner Bros. release added $11 million to its haul for a second place finish, pushing its domestic total to $101.5 million. The film is on pace to do $60 million worth of business over the five-day holiday period.

Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” also got a boost from vacationers, adding nearly $3 million to its $189.2 million gross. The superhero adventure should top $200 million domestically by the end of the week.

Paramount’s “Allied,” Miramax and Broad Green’s “Bad Santa 2” and 20th Century Fox’s “Rules Don’t Apply” will try to attract adult audiences who are not interested in “Moana” and “Fantastic Beasts.”

“Allied” stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as two World War II era spies. It cost $85 million to produce and made $2.7 million on Wednesday. The film should make $18 million over the Thanksgiving period.

“Bad Santa 2” brings back Billy Bob Thornton as a drink-addled department store Saint Nick. It made roughly $1.6 million on Wednesday and should do just over $10 million over the Turkey Day run. Both “Allied” and “Bad Santa 2” are underperforming expectations. The Brad Pitt vehicle had expected to as much as $20 million and the “Bad Santa” follow-up was projected to do in the mid-teens.

“Rules Don’t Apply,” a romantic drama that marks Warren Beatty’s return to filmmaking after more than a decade, picked up a lackluster $315,000 in its first full day in theaters. It should do less than $3 million worth of business over the holiday stretch.

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